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Ultrafast Ellipsometry


Ellipsometry is an optical technique that finds its application in a wide range of fields in Science and Industry for monitoring (slow) processes and accurate determination of the surface states of samples and products. It is a non-destructive, in-situ measurement and analysis technique that allows measurements under any operational conditions where a light beam is allowed to enter and return. In many of the application areas there is a need for faster measurement techniques.

Recently a new ellipsometric technique has been demonstrated that allows the determination of the ellipsometric parameters with a measurement frequency of a few MegaHertz. Other commercially available fast ellipsometers report a measurement frequency of 50 Hz so this technique is several orders of magnitude faster than state of the art techniques. Depending on the application, part of the speed can be sacrificed for the benefit of accuracy by averaging. In that case the accuracy is expected to be at least comparable with conventional techniques. The ultra fast ellipsometer is based on the Hazebroek Holscher interferometric ellipsometer extended with a Zeeman laser. Thereby one obtains an ellipsometer without any moving components, that can be made into a very compact unit.

The objective of this project is to develop this new ellipsometer and to demonstrate its capabilities and limitations. Results will be compared with conventional ellipsometry by using well defined test samples that have been used in a round robin test in a previous BCR project.

Applications of this ultra fast ellipsometer will be demonstrated studying transient surface phenomena that could not be measured before in casu the surface finishing of Aluminium. Furthermore the possibility of the ellipsometer to give continuous analog output of the ellipsometric parameters will be exploited in electro-optical impedance studies.


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Technische Universiteit Delft
136,julianalaan 136
2628 BL Delft

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