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This article focuses on the modes of operation, physical basis, sample requirements, properties characterized, advantages, and limitations of common characterization methods that are used to evaluate the physical morphology and chemical properties of component surfaces for medical devices. The methods include light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, Auger electron spectroscopy, secondary ion mass spectrometry, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy.

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