Characterization equipment

Equipment used for characterization:


The device measures the surface profile. From a line profile z(x) we can calculate the roughness parameters (Ra, Rt, Rz, etc), coating thickness (if part of the sample was previously covered by a mask) and internal stress. In 3D mode the result is the surface topography, which can be presented as an image, or it can be used to calculate various parameters: roughness, wear volume, defect density, surface texture, etc.

  • type: Form Talysurf Series 2Talysurf
  • producer: Taylor-Hobson Ltd., Leicester, UK
  • resolution: 0.25 μm in x-direction, 1 μm in y-direction, 3 nm in z-direction
  • It is dedicated to samples with a complicated geometry and of greater size (tools also), however, the resolution is somewhat coarse.



  • type: Bruker Dektak XTBruker
  • producer: Bruker Corp., Billerica, USA
  • resolution: 3 nm in x-direction, 1 μm in y-direction, 0.1 nm in z-direction
  • It is dedicated to smaller samples with a flat geometry where a better resolution is required.

Confocal optical microscopeKonfokalni

The microscope acquires the image of the sample surface which can be presented in two ways:

(i) all-in-focus image and

(ii) surface topography. From the topographic image one can calculate the roughness, coating thickness, wear volume, etc.

  • type: Axio CSM 700
  • producer: Zeiss, Jena, Germany
  • magnification: 30x up to 1500x
  • image size: 100 μm up to 5 mm

Adhesion testerRVT

The device is used to evaluate the adhesion of the coating on the substrate based on the scratch test principle. A diamond tip slides on the sample surface, while the load is linearly increased. The device records the scratching force, the tip penetration depth and the acoustic emission, while the scratch track is afterwards evaluated by optical microscopy. The criterion for adhesion are the critical loads, where specific pre-defined coating failures appear.

  • type: Revetest Scratch tester
  • producer: CSM Instruments, Neuchatel, Switzerland
  • maximum load: 200 N, measurement length: 1 cm

The apparatus is owned by the center of excellence Nanocenter.

Tribometer Tribo

This concerns the measurement of the “pin on disk” type, where a standard tip slides on the sample surface. The sliding may be circular or linear, can be performed in air or in liquid, in a range between room temperature and 170 °C. The device records the friction coefficient, while the tip wear track cross-section can be used to calculate the wear volume.

  • type: Tribometer
  • producer: CSM Instruments, Neuchatel, Switzerland
  • maximum load: 10 N

The apparatus is owned by the center of excellence Nanocenter.


Using a microbalance we measure the surface mass of a thin film, and indirectly the thin film density. By measuring the sample weight gain during annealing in an oxygen atmosphere we can observe the oxidation kinetics.

  • type: UMT 2
  • producer: Mettler Toledo, Greifensee, Switzerland
  • resolution: 0.1 μg, maximum load: 2 g

Hardness testers

The common feature of all hardness testers is to make an indentation by a diamond tip into the analyzed material. The material hardness is calculated from the indentation dimensions.



Rockwell hardness testerRokvel
Applied for measuring hardness of bulk materials.



Vickers microhardness testerMitotoyo
Applied for measuring hardness of thin films.

  • type: MVK-H2 Hardness tester
  • producer: Mitutoyo, Kawasaki, Japonska
  • load range: 10 mN–20 N (1 g–2 kg)



Vickers nanohardness testerFisher
Applied for advanced analysis of thin film mechanical properties.

  • type: Fischerscope H100C
  • producer: Helmut Fischer, Sindelfingen-Maichingen, Germany
  • load range: 0.4 mN–1 N (40 mg–100 g)

NEW: Digital microscope – Zeiss SmartZoom5  Mikroskop

The optical microscope is designed to observe large-scale patterns in the medium magnification. The maximum height of the sample was 120 mm, the maximum mass of 4 kg. Working distance is 36 mm. In the current configuration, the magnification is 34-340x. It is suitable mainly for industrial designs, the patterns of complex geometries and in all other cases, by virtue of size or shape, can not be observed with a standard microscope.

Access conditions: by prior appointment by email

Price per hour: 26,6

NEW: High temperature tribometer – Anton Paar High-Temperature TribometerTribometer

High-temperature tribometer is designed to measure the coefficient of friction and wear at temperatures up to 1000° C. The basic configuration is a standard pin-on-disk, but the dimensions of the sample narrowly limited. The measurement result of the dependence of the coefficient of friction of the glide path at a given temperature. Subsequently, the calculated wear from the cross-section measurement raze (with profilometer) and diameter of work worn balls (with an optical microscope).

Access conditions: by prior appointment by email

Price per hour: 37,91 €