Topography @ ALPS

Topography using optical and electron microscopy

Topography from the greek "description of a place" implies working out collective features of a region, or surface as far as materials are concerned. Topography is an important aspect of engineering, because it is the surface of a workpiece that is exposed to the environment.

The following series of surface images present the effect of laser surface modification. The images in the left column were taken on sample treated with a high number of low energy laser pulses. The right column displays the effect of a series individual high energy laser pulses. The images are taken with an optical microscope, Nikon Eclipse LV150, with a scanning electron microscope, and confocal microscope Sensofar PluNeox.

overview of - low energy- laser structured stainless shell surface.
overview of laser structured stainless shell surface, with regular distribution traces of laser impact
traces of molten and re-crystalized metal on surfaces
Impact of individual laser shots clearly visible
BSD image clearly shows the wave structure of the molten surface. Alos visible are 3 imperfections of the treatment.
BSD image shows 4 individual laser impacts.
Secondary electron defraction reveals topographic information, here melted surfaces generated by laser treatment
Secondary electron defraction reveals topographic, here holes generated by laser shots
3D topographic representation reconstructed from SEM data
3D topographic representation reconstructed from SEM data
Using a confocal microscope (SensoFar PluNeox) allows the individual craters already distinguishable in the SEM images become cleary visible.
Using confocal microscopy the individual craters including their depth are made visible.

Topographic equipement

At ALPS we have different topographic measurement techniques at hand :

Mechanic contact

  • Stylus 

Photon based techniques 

Laser Scanning Microscopy

  • confocal microscopy
  • interference microscopy

Atomic forces

Atomic forces microscopy