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Evaluating the Coating on a Smartphone Housing / Film thickness measurement and 3D surface profile measurement using a laser microscope


To sell successfully, the latest electronic equipment, such as smartphones, must be both functional and attractive. Customers want products that look good and have a pleasant feel and surface texture. Manufacturers apply a clear coating to improve the durability of smartphone’s painted surfaces. This means that the surface of a smartphone housing has a two-layer coating: a color coating and a clear coat. Manufacturers must inspect the thickness and surface profile of both the color and clear coats to ensure a high-quality product.

The Olympus solution

Olympus' OLS4100 3D scanning laser microscope is used to measure the thickness of films including color and clear coats. The microscope enables users to identify the peak amount of reflected light for multiple layers and detect the position of each layer. With these features, users can accurately measure the film thickness of a transparent layer. With the microscope’s multi-layer function, users can also obtain surface profile data for the top transparent layer as well as the material beneath to measure each layer’s roughness.

Surface of a transparent coating film



Objective lens 20X, Zoom 1X

Surface of a color coating layer


Objective lens 20X, Zoom 1X


Film thickness measurement

Film thickness measurement

Olympus IMS

Products used for this application


With the Olympus LEXT OLS5000 laser scanning confocal microscope, noncontact, nondestructive 3D observations and measurements are easy to produce. Simply by pushing the Start button, users can measure fine shapes at the submicron level. Ease of use is combined with leading-edge features to deliver an acquisition speed four times faster than our previous model. For customers with larger samples, LEXT long working distance objectives and an extended frame option allow the system to accommodate samples as large as 210 mm.
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