MP-SPR for thin solid film characterization

Thin solid films are typically applied as coatings (nanolayers) to provide functionality to everyday products from electronics and phone displays through batteries, solar cells and packaging to automotive components and door knobs. For instance, thin copper and silver films are used as antimicrobial coatings to maintain surfaces clean and sanitary. Ultrathin layers or nanoparticles of gold and silver are used for their plasmonic properties in future electronics and biosensors. Thin films of aluminum oxide are intended as barrier coatings for future food packaging. Nanocoatings are also used to tune optical properties of optical components as well as jewelry. Last but not least, novel carbon-based materials are entering the market in variety of fields.

Over recent years, the manufacturing processes have improved tremendously, thus saving amount of material needed to form a uniform coating. Therefore, thinner and thinner layers of coatings have to be analyzed and that often hits the limit of traditional methods. BioNavis applies plasmonics to provide reliable measurement of thickness and refractive index of nanolayers, their plasmonic properties and surface interactions.

BioNavis brings SPR from drug discovery to semiconductors

Ultrathin layer thickness and refractive index: Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) has been used for more than 20 years in drug discovery, utilizing thin metal layers for biosensing but not being able to determine their true thickness. With our novel configuration of Multi-Parametric Surface Plasmon Resonance (MP-SPR), we combine plasmonics to reach the Ångström level with goniometric setup similar to that of ellipsometer to extend the working range and multiple wavelengths similar to spectroscopic ellipsometry to define refractive index of each measured layers. 

Composite properties: Another area are the composites. The mixtures are formed from nanoparticles of different sizes, size, charge. The properties of the final product are heavily influenced by the surface properties of the nanoparticles and hence their forces towards other nanoparticles. MP-SPR is a tool to design the nanoscale properties in order to control the final product.

Barrier coating quality: MP-SPR works in air as well as vapor and in liquids including solvents. It measures the dynamics of the process from dry to wet. It is easy to select the best barrier coating for solar cells, displays, food packaging or implants.

Lubricant adsorption: MP-SPR provides information on lubricant adsorption kinetics and layer quality.

See six reasons to choose MP-SPR for measurements of thin solid films:

  • Measures ultrathin films from a few Ångström thickness
  • Thickness and refractive index solved simultaneously
  • The most sensitive instrument for real-time adsorption kinetics on surfaces
  • From dry to wet state with the same configuration
  • Cross-validation with microscopy and modelling is possible
  • Measurements do not require vacuum. Measurement can be performed in organic solvents.

The measurements are performed on model surfaces. We have a wide range of surfaces to choose from, or you can make them in your premises. We are glad to provide our expertise and measure your samples in our facilities.

See key questions about thin solid films that MP-SPR can answer:

  • How to select the best barrier (non-stick / antireflective / moisture) coating?
  • How thin can the nanolayer be and still provide desired functionality?
  • What is the quality of the coating?
  • Which coating process provides homogeneous coating?
  • What is the time needed for my nanoparticles to assemble on the surface?
  • What are the ideal pH and electric potential conditions for the process?
  • How does the layer swell in contact with gas / moisture / solvent?
  • How good is the plasmonics of my metal layer?

See selected Application Notes to see that MP-SPR works: 

  • AN#153 Metal-organic framework (MOF). Characterization using MP-SPR.
  • AN#146 Atomic-scale resolution graphene layer characterization in air using MP-SPR
  • AN#142 Real-time monitoring of metal stripping and deposition with EC-MP-SPR
  • AN#140 Self-assembly of gold nanoparticles measured with MP-SPR
  • AN#133 Characterization of atomic layer deposited metal films and nanolaminates
  • AN#128 Determining thickness and refractive index of dielectric layers using MP-SPR
  • AN#127 Determining thickness and refractive index of metal and metal like ultrathin films using MP-SPR
  • AN#120 In situ monitoring of electrochemical reactions using SPR Navi 200
  • AN#116 Characterization of graphene oxide films with MP-SPR
  • AN#112 In situ monitoring of metal-organic framework assembly with MP-SPR

Selected publications:


See five reasons to choose MP-SPR for thin solid films.