Surface Analysis and Chemical Characterisation

Kenneth Brian Haugshøj

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Surface Analysis and Chemical Characterisation

Get help understanding your product in depth with our expertise in characterization and surface analysis.

At the Danish Technological Institute, we perform analysis and characterization of the outermost surface of material samples. You may be experiencing contamination on a material but do not know the identity of the foreign substance. For instance, maybe you need to know if a specific material is homogeneously coated or you want to know if the adhesion is good enough on the material's surface.

We can tell you this and much more through characterization and surface analysis. We use various techniques and combine the results to provide you with a comprehensive solution.

Elemental Composition Analysis 

We identify the elemental composition in the outermost 5-10 nanometers of a product's surface. This is done using X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS).

We typically use XPS in investigations where there is suspicion of contamination. We also use the technique to identify coatings on surfaces and to check surfaces for specific compositions.

Surface-Specific Chemical Analysis 

We perform chemical identification of the outermost 1-2 nanometers of the surface. Here, we use Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (TOF-SIMS).

With this technique, we detect ions that indicate what is present on the surface. This is particularly useful when examining surfaces for contamination such as soap residues, fats, silicone oil, protein, or release agents.

We can also distinguish between materials that may appear identical but are not. For example, if we are looking for silicon on a silicon background, we can differentiate between silicone oil and silicate from glass.

TOF-SIMS is also suitable for investigating the distribution of various chemical compounds on a surface or in a cross-section.

Combining Analysis Methods for the Best Result 

We aim to give you the best possible results. We often achieve this by combining different analyses of the material and compiling the results.

This typically occurs in tasks where we map foreign objects such as fibers, hair, small pieces of plastic, rubber, and paint. Or when we map how a drug distributes itself in a tablet. We use a wide range of analysis techniques, which, in addition to the ones mentioned, include: light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM/EDX, FIB/SEM), infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and X-ray diffraction (XRD).

We have obtained accreditation from DANAK to perform material sample investigations using SEM/EDX and FT-IR. We are regularly audited by Danish pharmaceutical companies for this type of investigation.

Contact: Kenneth Haugshøj,, +45 7220 3304