The protection of intellectual property often hinges on subtle distinctions. Whether attempting to define, protect, or refute those details, microanalytical characterization can often provide assistance. Cases ranging from electronics, to textile fibers, to industrial coatings have been clarified by Microtrace staff through the characterization of optical properties of a material. These attributes have included layer structure, refractive index, birefringence, elemental composition, particle size, or the detection of a specific chemical. Assumptions are often made about the properties of materials; however, through a well designed experiment with proper sample preparation and analysis, it is often possible to scientifically demonstrate and visualize a particular claim.
The image featured above showcases a coating that was stained with a green fluorescent dye to illustrate the depth with which the coating penetrated the paper surface. In this instance, the precise wording of the patent was called into question, and images such as the one shown above provided visual and conclusive evidence as to the specific degree of interaction between the coating and the paper.
Read here about a case involving the characterization of a microencapsulation method.