Group Optical Surface Analytics

The research focus of the group is the development of turnkey devices for inspecting surfaces. The systems are used for inspecting the cleanliness and coatings of components and identifying defects. They check rollstock and complex components in production as well as fully scan the surfaces of components of any shape in free fall without the need for further handling. Our systems can be used to test extremely thin coatings – such as barrier layers on plastic materials – for thickness and integrity or monitor the thickness distribution of forming or anti-corrosion oil on components and metal sheets. When monitoring laser machining processes, we use laser technology to perform element analyses of surfaces and coatings. The inline microscopy systems developed by the group characterize the geometry and surfaces of micro-components at the rate of production with outstanding accuracy, for example in medical device production. Drawing on our wealth of experience in the development of optical units, image capturing and image processing as well as specific electronics and mechanics, we are well-equipped to integrate customer-specific measurement and inspection systems into the production line.

Problem-specific image processing and image analysis

  • Detection of defects which are difficult to identify
  • Optimized lighting and customized image capture
  • Classification of features according to individual customer criteria

Image fluorescence

  • Detection and localization of organic contamination (< 0.01 g/m²)
  • Detection and spatially resolved characterization of coatings
  • Layer thickness determination of organic layers down to thicknesses of 20 nm

Infrared measurement technology

  • Detection and thickness measurements of barrier layers from a thickness of 20 nm

Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy

  • Contactless surface material analysis
  • Thickness measurement of functional coatings
  • Detection of coating components down to the ppm range


  • Characterization of complex 3D microstructures
  • Detection of structural defects, impurities, scratches and incorrect external dimensions
  • Repeatability of distance measurement down to the sub-micrometer