A method and apparatus are provided for mapping the surface morphology of an object in order to detect and repair structural defects in the object or to distinguish surface features. A beam of light having a single frequency, such as a laser, is scanned across a plurality of locations on the object's surface and the light reflected from each surface location is received and analyzed by a spectrometer and a multi-channel analyzer. The refelected light originating from the laser beam which is absorbed by the surface is shifted in frequency by an amount determined by the type and concentration of molecular bonding of the surface material. The type and concentration of bonding for each scanning location is represented by a set of binary data which are then used to generate a composite visual display of the surface in which each pixel has a color and intensity determined by the set of binary data which represent the type and concentration of bonding. The visually displayed bonding pattern reveals surface defects, surface features, anomalies, etc. Display sensitivity is increased by tuning the energy of the incident laser to the energy gap betwen the ground state and excited state of the electrons of the surface material. The power of the laser beam employed for inspection can be increased to anneal and thereby repair surface defects.