Surface Coating / Alfa Chemistry

Investigation of Surface Structures with Optical Microscopy

Investigation of Surface Structures with Optical Microscopy


Optical microscopes can magnify small objects that aren't visible to the human eye using visible light and lenses. It is frequently used to check or compare items, as well as to prepare small samples for subsequent investigation. The optical microscope's magnification varies from 10x to 100x, allowing it to detect objects as small as 0.2 microns. It can disclose a lot of information about the sample. Professional optical microscope surface analysis services are available from Alfa Chemistry.

Optical Microscopy of Alfa Chemistry

Optical microscopes are frequently used to solve material-related difficulties and can assist customers in fully comprehending the relationship between microstructure and product qualities. Alfa Chemistry employs microscopists with extensive experience in problem resolution, materials development, and customer research. Optical microscopy techniques can be used to examine almost any sample. The sample is placed directly under the microscope for inspection. Our surface science laboratory can swiftly send digital photographs of customer samples to customers. Our optical microscope equipment can be customized to fit a variety of different sizes and shapes. Large samples can be accommodated with our optical microscope. If the sample is large, we can place the microscope on top of it to do the analysis without having to change the sample or product.

Investigation of Surface Structures with Optical Microscopy

Before conducting more comprehensive examinations utilizing other analytical techniques (such as SEM/EDX or reverse engineering), our laboratory services typically use its microscope series for preliminary inspection and characterization to plan the next step or to corroborate client observations. Our skilled professionals can capture transmission or reflection photographs in a variety of lighting settings to highlight certain areas of interest. A microscope with a large depth of field can inspect the assembly of many sub-components, while a microscope with a higher magnification can polish the cross section.

The following are some examples of work done with optical microscopes:

  • Cross-sectional inspection
  • Porosity measurement
  • Corrosion deposits and blistering
  • Coating delamination investigation
  • Paint, adhesive, sealant fingerprint recognition

Our optical microscope testing capabilities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Fixing, dyeing and embedding of difficult-to-image materials
  • Research microscope for surface and internal microstructure
  • Polarized light microscope for identifying contaminants
  • Confocal microscope using molecular probes and 3D reconstruction
  • Optical profilometry
  • Optimization of time-dependent variables, such as crystallization
  • Determination of the root cause of product fracture or product failure
  • Identification and measurement of product contamination problems

Investigation of Surface Structures with Optical MicroscopyFig 1. Structure of liquids in thin films (~8 μm), enclosed between the objective and coverslip: (a) distilled water; (b) 1% NaCl solution; (c) 2% NaCl solution; (d) 3% NaCl solution; (e) 4% NaCl solution; (f) is a saturated NaCl solution. (Yakhno T, et al. 2019)

Optical microscopes have a number of drawbacks. This technology can make images out of materials with enough contrast or things with a lot of refraction. The sample thickness in the transmission mode is similarly limited to a few tens of microns. The optical microscope's resolution is limited to 0.2 microns, with a maximum magnification of 1000 times. SEM, TME, and AFM are the favored technologies for tiny objects. Alfa Chemistry is a recognized center of expertise in the field of microscope analysis, with a network of laboratories. Please contact us so that we can assist you.


  • Yakhno T, et al. (2019). "A Study of the Structural Organization of Water and Aqueous Solutions by Means of Optical Microscopy." Crystals. 9(1): 52.

Our products and services are for research use only and cannot be used for any clinical purpose.

Ask Your Question