Definition of Characterization

Characterization in technology refers to the process of determining the properties, characteristics, and performance capabilities of a specific material, device, or system. This is achieved through a variety of measurement and analysis techniques, often under varying conditions. The data gathered from characterization helps in understanding the behavior of the technology and informs its design, optimization, and application.


The phonetics of the keyword “Characterization” can be represented as: /ˌkærɪktəraɪˈzeɪʃən/

Key Takeaways

  1. Characterization is the process of creating and developing characters in a narrative, revealing their personality, appearance, and emotions through their actions, dialogue, and descriptions.
  2. Direct and indirect characterization are the two methods an author uses to convey a character’s traits. Direct characterization explicitly tells the reader about a character’s qualities, while indirect characterization reveals them through the character’s actions, speech, and thoughts.
  3. Effective characterization contributes to a story’s overall theme, engages readers, and helps create empathy or understanding for the characters, enhancing the reader’s experience and investment in the narrative.

Importance of Characterization

Characterization is an important technology term because it refers to the process of determining and evaluating the properties, functionalities, and performance of materials or devices.

This systematic assessment enables researchers and engineers to understand the behavior of these materials under various conditions, facilitating improvements in their design and application.

In many fields such as electronics, materials science, and biotechnology, characterization is crucial for developing technologies with higher efficiency, lower costs, and increased reliability.

By studying the parameters and characteristics of materials, it becomes possible to recognize potential problems, optimize performance, and determine the suitability of these materials for specific implementations.

In summary, characterization plays a pivotal role in the advancement and innovation of technology, allowing for the development of highly tailored solutions to address diverse needs and challenges.


Characterization in the field of technology serves a crucial purpose when it comes to understanding the various properties and functionalities of materials and devices. The essence of this process lies in gaining a comprehensive understanding of these properties, such as physical, chemical, and electrical, in order to facilitate the development and optimization of new materials or systems.

It is through characterization that scientists and engineers can explore new frontiers and deepen their knowledge of various materials, like semiconductors, metals, ceramics, composites, and polymers, ultimately leading to enhanced performance and groundbreaking innovations in diverse sectors, ranging from electronics and communication to biomedical devices and environmental technologies. The importance of characterization stems from the need to establish a connection between the intrinsic properties of a material or device and its real-world performance.

By analyzing numerous parameters, like surface structure, microstructure, composition, and physical defects, experts can identify essential factors that influence a material’s behavior in specific applications. Additionally, the characterization process also plays a vital role in quality control, ensuring that materials and devices meet desired standards, thus reducing the chances of the poor performance, and minimizing potential risks.

Various techniques, such as X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, amongst others, enable researchers to achieve greater insights into the very nature of materials, enabling them to tailor them for specific applications and enhancing the efficiency of the technology they support.

Examples of Characterization

Characterization technology plays a crucial role in several industries by determining the properties and composition of materials and their respective components. Here are three real-world examples:

Semiconductors and Microelectronics: In this industry, the characterization of materials, such as silicon wafers and metal films, is vital to ensure their appropriate properties, such as electronic and electrical properties. Techniques like X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy can be used to analyze the crystal structure, surface morphology, and chemical composition of these materials, allowing manufacturers to optimize the performance of semiconductor devices.

Pharmaceutical Industry: The characterization of drugs and their components helps ensure their safety, efficacy, and quality. Analyzing the physical, chemical, and biological properties of drugs is essential to determine their stability, release mechanism, and therapeutic effects. Technologies like high-performance liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy are used to characterize the structure and components of pharmaceutical products, helping manufacturers create safe and effective medications.

Environmental Science and Analysis: The characterization of environmental samples (such as air, water, and soil) is crucial in assessing contamination and pollution levels, as well as understanding the underlying chemical processes. Techniques like gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry, and elemental analysis can help identify the presence and concentrations of contaminants, metals, and other harmful substances in these samples. This information is integral in guiding policy decisions, environmental regulations, and remediation efforts to protect and conserve our natural resources.

Characterization FAQ

What is characterization in literature?

Characterization is the process used by authors to develop characters and create images of the characters for the audience. It helps to bring their personalities, appearances, and backgrounds to life, making them more relatable and engaging for readers.

What are the two types of characterization?

There are two main types of characterization: direct characterization and indirect characterization. Direct characterization occurs when the author explicitly tells the reader what a character is like, while indirect characterization occurs when the author provides clues about a character through their actions, dialogue, or other characters’ opinions.

What are some examples of characterization techniques?

Examples of characterization techniques include a character’s physical appearance, their actions, their thoughts and emotions, their dialogue, their relationships with other characters, and the opinions of other characters about them.

Why is characterization important in literature?

Characterization is a crucial element in literature because it helps readers form a connection with the characters in the story. Well-developed characters will engage the readers in their experiences and emotions, making the story feel more authentic and realistic. Good characterization also contributes to the overall theme and plot development.

How can an author develop stronger characterization?

An author can develop stronger characterization by providing more depth to their characters. This includes giving them a thorough background, complex personalities, unique mannerisms, consistent motivations, and distinct dialogue. Additionally, allowing characters to change and develop throughout the story creates realistic and engaging characters.

Related Technology Terms

  • Material Analysis
  • Morphology
  • Microstructure
  • Composition
  • Physical Properties

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

These experts include:


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

More Technology Terms

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents