Application of Spectroscopic Ellipsometry and Mueller Ellipsometry to Optical Characterization

This article provides a brief overview of both established and novel ellipsometry techniques, as well as their applications. Ellipsometry is an indirect optical technique, in that information about the physical properties of a sample is obtained through modeling analysis. Standard ellipsometry is typically used to characterize optically isotropic bulk and/or layered materials. More advanced techniques such as Mueller ellipsometry, also known as polarimetry in the literature, are necessary for the complete and accurate characterization of anisotropic and/or depolarizing samples that occur in many instances, both in research and in real-life activities.

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Spectroscopic Ellipsometry Characterization of Thin Films Used in the Food Packaging Industry

Process control and optimization is critical for low-cost, high-throughput, thin-film applications, such as barrier layers used in the food packaging industry. One useful technique for determining thickness and optical constants of the barrier layers during and after deposition is spectroscopic ellipsometry, which is a nondestructive and noncontact optical technique.

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Spectroscopic Ellipsometry Characterization of Thin Film Photovoltaic Materials and Devices

One of the biggest challenges in the photovoltaic industry is creating a high efficiency device with low manufacturing and material costs. This challenge can be overcome by accurately characterizing thin film materials and photovoltaic device structures to determine properties such as thickness, absorption coefficient, composition, crystallinity, blend morphology, and phase separation, all of which may be modified to result in a more efficient photovoltaic device. One way to characterize thin film materials and photovoltaic device structures is to use spectroscopic ellipsometry, a non-invasive, non-destructive, and non-contact optical technique which can provide all of the above thin film properties, as well as other information, such as optical properties and band gap values. Spectroscopic ellipsometry works on the basis that linearly polarized light, when reflected off of a sample, becomes elliptically polarized. The resultant elliptical polarization state can be modeled in order to provide information about the sample. Because of the information it can provide, spectroscopic ellipsometry is a very powerful technique for the study of thin film photovoltaic materials and devices. In particular, spectroscopic ellipsometry can be applied to anti-reflection coatings, TCO layers, and organic solar cell devices, as will be demonstrated here.

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Ellipsometry for Organic Webinar