Surfaces and Coatings

Coatings are applied to pharmaceutical tablets to optimize the controlled release of the active pharmaceutical ingredient from a matrix and for protection from degradation.

AFM scan and image

 AFM scan position and image of surface coating

The surface roughness of a bare substrate needs to be characterized and specified to apply a consistent surface. A 3D optical profiler or an atomic force microscope (AFM) are ideal techniques for quantifying the roughness of surfaces. 

Optical and AFM images of blue tablet coating

 Optical profiler analysis and AFM image of blue tablet coating

Film Thickness and Composition

After the application of the coating, the layer thickness must also be determined. A coated tablet can easily be cross-sectioned and the thickness and chemical composition can be analyzed using a Phenom ProX desktop SEM with EDS.  

Elemental mapping of pharmaceutical product

Elemental mapping of pharmaceutical product

Optical microscopy using a Zeta-20 3D optical profiler can also be useful to determine film thickness. 

Ibuprofen tablet cross section

Zeta 3D optical profiler image and analysis of Ibuprofen tablet cross-section 

Related Pages


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Phenom SEM
Phenom SEM

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Zeta-20 Benchtop Profiler

3D Optical Profiler on your benchtop


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