Physical or chemical imaging methods can provide detailed information on grain structure, (in)homogeneity of surface or buried features, distribution of chemical species and degradation processes. Imaging is useful as a “stand alone” technique but is also frequently undertaken alongside other investigation methods. Please contact us for further information.


Optical micrographs

Examination of samples by reflection or polarised light microscopy enables visualisation of surface features. Use of transmitted light provides information on inclusions and features such as birefringence due to stress forces:

OM Imaging


Surface Chemical Imaging

Static SIMS analysis can provide chemical mapping of sample areas up to 4mm x 4mm, and can indicate coating integrity, surface contaminant species or effects of surface cleaning and other treatments.

SIMS Images


SEM / EDX Analysis can provide imaging of surface structures, together with chemical information on specific features in the images.



Other Imaging Techniques

X-Ray Imaging

X-ray imaging can display buried structures within polymer matrices and is capable of analysis of structures ranging in size from a fraction of a millimetre to about 1 metre across.

XRay Images


Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)

Atomic Force Microscopy analyses surface structure on a nanometre scale to provide a wealth of information on materials characteristics.