Measuring nanoparticle size using optical surface profilers

Douglas J. Little, Deb M. Kane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


Optical surface profilers are state-of-the-art instruments for measuring surface height profiles. They are not conventionally applied to nanoparticle measurements due to the presence of diffraction artifacts. Here we use a theoretical model based on wave-optics to account for diffractionbased artifacts in optical surface profilers. This then enables accurate measurement of nanoparticles size of a known geometry. The model is developed for both phase shifting interferometry and vertical scanning interferometry modes of operation. It is demonstrated that nanosphere radii as small as 12 nm, and nano-cylinder radii as small as 10-15 nm can be measured from a standard profile measurement using phase shifted interferometry interpreted using the wave-optics approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15664-15675
Number of pages12
JournalOptics Express
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013

Bibliographical note

This paper was published in Optics Express and is made available as an electronic reprint with the permission of OSA. The paper can be found at the following URL on the OSA website: [http://]. Systematic or multiple reproduction or distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.


Dive into the research topics of 'Measuring nanoparticle size using optical surface profilers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this