Contact Angle with 3D Topography Measurements

About Contact Angle with 3D Topography Measurements

The  3D Topography module combined with the Theta Flex optical tensiometer is the first product which makes it possible to combine 3D surface roughness measurements in conjunction with contact angle measurements and to perform those measurements on the same exact sample location.  As a result, roughness-corrected contact angles can be better compared with each other for research and quality control purposes.

The 3D Topography module is a high resolution 3D shape acquisition system using structured lighting technique called fringe projection phase-shifting. The phase-shifted fringe illumination patterns are sequentially projected onto the studied surface. A digital camera captures the fringe patterns from which the 3D shape of the object is reconstructed by phase-shift coding.  The 2D and 3D roughness parameters are calculated from the 3D shape of the object.

Features & Benefits

  • Integrated method enabling to define contact angle and surface roughness accurately from the same location and to combine both surface chemical and topographical data with automated software calculations.
  • Offers fast surface characterisation method, which does not demand specialist to run the samples.
  • Versatile roughness measurement: both 2D and 3D characterization.


Many surface modification and coating technologies that are used for optimizing wetting and adhesion properties influence both surface chemistry and roughness. Understanding the mechanisms that impact wetting by separating these two factors can be a useful tool in product development processes and in quality control. Roughness correction on contact angles also enables the calculation of fundamental surface free energy on rough surfaces. Theta Topography can be used for studying microscale roughness, which is relevant in many applications and processes. Examples include:

  • Coatings and surface modifications
  • Paper and board wettability
  • Biocompatibility of implants
  • Construction and building material

Wettability is typically studied by a contact angle measurement that can be defined with the well-known Young equation on ideal surfaces. Surface free energy theories are also based on assumptions that Young contact angles are used for calculations. Thus, the surface is assumed to be chemically homogenous and topographically smooth. This is, however, not true in the case of real surfaces. It is well established that surface roughness enhances the existing wetting behaviour and influence on adhesion.


Dimensions 17 cm x 16.5 cm x 11.5 cm
Weight 2.6 kg
Power supply 100 – 240 V AC
Frequency 50 – 60 Hz
System requirements
Antivibration or stone table recommended
Motorized XYZ sample stage required
Other specifications
XY pixel size 1.1 μm x 1.1 μm
Method name Fringe projection phase-shifting
Measured range in Z direction 1 μm – 60 μm
Axial resolution 4 nm
Lateral sampling 1.41 mm x 1.06 mm (XY)
(Stitching option up to 4.2 mm x 4.2 mm)
Working distance 18 mm
Maximum sample size on sample stage Unlimited x 320 mm x 22 mm (L x W x H)
Imaging options Optical image, 2D roughness map, 3D roughness map
Measurement duration per one measurement 5-30 s (1280 x 960 measurement points)
Analysis parameters (ISO 4287, ISO 4288) • r (for Wenzel equation)
• θc, roughness corrected contact angle/Wenzel contact angle
• Sdr (%), Sa (um), Sq (um)
• Horizontal, vertical and from chosen 2D line segment Ra, Rq, Rp, Rv, Rz, R10z
Waviness filtering Gaussian high pass filter (ISO 11562)
Sample requirements/limitations Diffuse reflecting surface required

All Downloads

Filename Size Download
Attension Theory Note 7 Influence of Surface Roughness on Contact Angle Wettability 0.30MB Download
Attension Theta Topography Product Sheet 0.95MB Download
  • Last updated: June 2024
  • Version: 1.0

Statements, technical information and recommendations contained herein are based on tests we believe to be reliable but they are not to be construed in any manner as warrantees expressed or implied. The user shall determine the suitability of the product for his intended use and the user assumes all risk and liability whatsoever in connection therewith.