Surface Analysis

Definition - What does Surface Analysis mean?

Surface analysis is a type of investigation performed on the outermost layer of a solid material. It specifically refers to an analysis of the thin layer of the solid that is in contact with its environment. Surface analysis is performed by exciting the surface of a material using an energy source, and then observing and analyzing what occurs as a result of this energization to determine the properties of a material's surface.

Corrosionpedia explains Surface Analysis

Surface analysis is important because the surface of a solid material plays a vital role in many of the material's properties. Surface analysis can be used to determine corrosion resistance, wettability, ability to be adhered to, chemical reactivity and several other properties.

There are many different methods used to perform a surface analysis, including:

  • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy - X-rays are directed at a material's surface. The energy released by the photoelectrons at the material's surface is then observed and used for analysis.
  • Auger electron spectroscopy - An electron beam is fired at a material's surface. The electron beam excites the material and the energy of the Auger electrons is measured.
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