Scanning white light interference microscopy

Scanning White Light Interference Microscopy
Surface roughness and the details of the surface profile determine the performance and appearance of the products of many industries.

Scanning white light interference microscopy (SWLIM) is a non-contact technique used to obtain three-dimensional images to quantitatively measure the surface texture or “roughness” of materials. The technique requires no sample preparation, is non-destructive and is extremely fast.


A range of magnifications can be used to characterize the surface roughness of a sample set or device.

Unlike stylus profilometry and physical cross sectioning techniques, interference microscopy results in hundreds of sample “cross sections” without ever touching the sample surface.

For each data set roughness statistics are calculated, such as:

  • Ra (average roughness)
  • Rq (average root mean square roughness)
  • Rt (total roughness)

The data can then be plotted as a three-dimensional representation of the sample surface. Sampling of large areas is possible with the motorized and automated sample stage.

Surface Profile of Lincoln Penny
Surface Profile of Lincoln Penny

More info:
Surface Analysis and Surface Measurement Lab
Surface Topography Characterization Services