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Physical Sciences Reviews

Ed. by Giamberini, Marta / Jastrzab, Renata / Liou, Juin J. / Luque, Rafael / Nawab, Yasir / Saha, Basudeb / Tylkowski, Bartosz / Xu, Chun-Ping / Cerruti, Pierfrancesco / Ambrogi, Veronica / Marturano, Valentina / Gulaczyk, Iwona

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Surface roughness: A review of its measurement at micro-/nano-scale

Yuxuan Gong / Jian Xu
  • School of Physics and Electronic Information, Henan Polytechnic University, Jiaozuo 454000, China
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Relva C. Buchanan
  • Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 45221, USA
  • Other articles by this author:
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Published Online: 2018-01-09 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/psr-2017-0057


The measurement of surface roughness at micro-/nano-scale is of great importance to metrological, manufacturing, engineering, and scientific applications given the critical roles of roughness in physical and chemical phenomena. The surface roughness of materials can significantly change the way of how they interact with light, phonons, molecules, and so forth, thus surface roughness ultimately determines the functionality and property of materials. In this short review, the techniques of measuring micro-/nano-scale surface roughness are discussed with special focus on the limitations and capabilities of each technique. In addition, the calculations of surface roughness and their theoretical background are discussed to offer readers a better understanding of the importance of post-measurement analysis. Recent progress on fractal analysis of surface roughness is discussed to shed light on the future efforts in surface roughness measurement.

Keywords: roughness; roughness measurement; Fractal analysis; profilometry; scatterometry


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About the article

Published Online: 2018-01-09

Published in Print: 2018-01-26

Citation Information: Physical Sciences Reviews, Volume 3, Issue 1, 20170057, ISSN (Online) 2365-659X, ISSN (Print) 2365-6581, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/psr-2017-0057.

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