Characterization of Thin Films and Coatings

D. R. Baer, S. Thevuthasan

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    The purpose of this chapter is to provide an introduction to the basic methods and overview applications for some of the most important tools for characterization of films, coatings, and surfaces. This chapter provides an overview of several capabilities based on photon, electron, and ion methods that can be effectively used to understand the structural, chemical, and electronic characteristics of a wide range of materials including thin films and coatings. To obtain various details, it is often necessary to choose a combination of techniques (usually a subset which provides complementary information) based on properties of the materials under consideration, potential application, and with the resolution and sensitivity offered by the techniques. With the increasing emphasis on the use of nanostructured materials and materials designed for a wide variety of functional applications involving thin films and coatings, the surface-sensitive techniques discussed in this chapter are increasingly used to understand the physical, electronic, and chemical properties of the surfaces and films. The type or types of information required determines the characterization methods needed to investigate a coating or film. Several different approaches are used to summarize the range of information that can be provided by a selection of conventional and some newly developing characterization methods. Researchers and industries are working toward developing instruments with increased sensitivities and the ability to operate in realistic environments (in situ capabilities), and toward enabling multitechnique combinations in single instruments that address present-day and increasing research needs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHandbook of Deposition Technologies for Films and Coatings
    PublisherElsevier Inc.
    Number of pages116
    ISBN (Print)9780815520313
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010


    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Materials Science(all)

    Cite this

    Baer, D. R., & Thevuthasan, S. (2010). Characterization of Thin Films and Coatings. In Handbook of Deposition Technologies for Films and Coatings (pp. 749-864). Elsevier Inc..