WITec, a developer of nano-analytical microscopy systems, has launched what its calling True Surface Microscopy, a new imaging method for confocal Raman imaging. The core element of this imaging mode is an integrated sensor for optical profilometry. Large-area topographic coordinates from the profilometer measurement can be precisely correlated with the large-area confocal Raman imaging data, allowing confocal Raman imaging along heavily inclined or very rough samples with the true surface held in constant focus. With the new imaging mode, the company explains, samples that had previously required extensive preparation in order to obtain a certain surface flatness can now be more easily characterised. Complete system control as well as extensive data evaluation are integrated within the WITec Control and WITec Project software environments, enhancing ease-of-use.
The profilometry capabilities of the new imaging mode allow scan ranges of up to 50 x 100mm with a spatial resolution on the order of 100nm vertically and 10µm laterally. Measuring distances of 10mm or more allows samples of various sizes to be accommodated by the system. In combination with AFM, the profilometer can even be used as a pre-inspection tool to determine topographic features of interest for high-resolution AFM investigations on large samples. The overall performance and exceptionally accurate imaging capabilities of True surface microscopy are beneficial for many applications, including the characterisation of micromechanical, medical, or semiconductor devices, the mapping of functional surfaces, or the imaging of biomedical or pharmaceutical material surface properties.