Ellipsometry measures a change in polarisation as light reflects or transmits from a material structure. The polarisation change is represented as an amplitude ratio, Ψ, and the phase difference, Δ. The measured response depends on optical properties and thickness of individual materials. Thus, ellipsometry is primarily used to determine film thickness and optical constants. However, it is also applied to characterise composition, crystallinity, roughness, doping concentration, and other material properties associated with a change in optical response.
Since the 1960s, as ellipsometry developed to provide the sensitivity necessary to measure nanometer-scale layers used in microelectronics, interest in ellipsometry has grown steadily. Today, the range of its applications has spread to the basic research in optical coating, physical sciences, semiconductor and data storage solutions, flat panel display, communication, biosensor industries. This widespread use is explained by increased dependence on thin films in many areas and the flexibility of ellipsometry to measure most material types: biological coatings, composites of materials, dielectrics, semiconductors, metals, superconductors and organics. Find out more about J A Woollam at https://youtu.be/szkqdcoclkQ. The UK Distributor, Quantum Design UK hold annual workshops which include an introduction, fundamentals of ellipsometric data analysis, and an overview of ellipsometric applications in both research and production. Contact Angela Carslake for more information on the next workshop and register your interest.