Researchers around Anja Royne from Norway recently published an article about their experiments investigating surfaces of calcites. This mineral has multiple applications as a building and industrial material, and it is often important to characterize the strength of the materials involved. For example, depending of the surrounding medium (could be water) the formation of cracks and weakening of the material structure can be induced.
In their experiments they use rough and reactive calcite surfaces and perform measurements in a device for surface force measurements. The device uses an interferometric readout using a high-resolution imaging spectrometer (Isoplane 320, PIXIS 2048B). The interference effect allows for very precise measurements of the distance between the sample surfaces.