Morphology of surface

We are capable of measurement of surface in large scale. If we consider also other equipment in the Department of Length in CMI, we are able to measure size and geometry of objects in the range from nanometers to kilometers. At our department the largest measurable objects have dimensions of hundreds of micrometers while we use the following measuring devices (sorted chronologically):

  • microscope Accurex II.L (Thermomicroscopes)
  • microscope Explorer (Thermomicroscopes)
  • microscope Aurora (Thermomicroscopes)
  • special metrology system developed in cooperation with ISI ASCR
  • special microscope with range of centimeters
  • microscope Dimension Icon (Bruker)

At standard measurements using SPM metods (without the use of special accesories) we are limited by maximum lateral range of 100x100 micrometers and maximum uneveness of 10 micrometers. Uncertainity of measurement is dependent on the type of the object and its geometry that we characterize. From the methods we can choose typical artefacts:

mask width20 nm + (0.005 x width)
step height2 nm + (0.01 x step height)
lattice period2 nm + (0.005 x width)/period count

At special measurements we can reach the range up to 1x1 cm, or we can lower the uncertainity of measurement down to approx. 1 nm (depending on measured artefacts and the device used). At special conditions we can also measure samples which are not in the form of one firm solid object, such as nanoparticles.

The output of the measurement is typically the calibration report, but it can be measured data as well. The data can further be processed in for example the Gwyddion software.

(c) CMI 2012


2022-11-03 New SPM data analysis software version Gwyddion 2.62 was released.


Department of nanometrology and technical length
Czech Metrology Institute
Okružní 31, 638 00 Brno