profilometry (rus. профилометрия) — measurement of the profile of a surface section in a plane orthogonal to the surface and oriented in the desired direction.


A graphic image of the profile obtained using profilometry is called a profilogram. Information acquired by processing profilograms is used to calculate the standard parameters and allows for a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the roughness of the investigated surfaces. A sequence of profilograms taken step by step and placed in a three-dimensional coordinate system provides a visual representation for the topography of the surface.

Profilograms and three-dimensional images of solid surfaces can be obtained using contact or non-contact methods. Instruments designed for this purpose are called profilometers or profilographs. Contact profilometers record the profile by moving a needle over the studied rough surface. Non-contact profilometers include optical and scanning electron microscopes, as well as devices scanning the surface with monochromatic (e.g., laser) radiation.


  • Goryacheva Irina G.
  • Shpenеv Alexey G.


  1. Profilometer // Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia. — (reference date: 12.12.2011).
  2. Profilograph // Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia. — (reference date: 12.12.2011).

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