Variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometry: A non-destructive characterization technique for ultrathin and multilayer materials

John A. Woollam, Paul G. Snyder, Martin C. Rost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Scopus citations


In the most commonly used form of ellipsometry, a monochromatic collimated linearly polarized light beam is directed at an angle φ{symbol} to the normal of a sample under study. The specularly reflected beam is, in general, elloptically polarized, and the state of polarization is analyzed using a second polarizer and photodetector. A rotating analyzer automated spectroscopic ellipsometer has been constructed in our laboratory. The angle of incidence can be set over a wide range of angles, with a precision and repeatibility of ±0.01°. A computer controls the monochromator, the azimuth of a stepper-motor-driven polarizer, a shutter, and the digitization of the detector signal. There are several other schemes used for acquiring ellipsometric data, and these are discussed in several sources. The purpose of this short review is to show how variable angle of incidence spectroscopic ellipsometry can be used as a powerful non-destructive tool for analysis of surfaces and multilayer films.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-323
Number of pages7
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Dec 1 1988


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

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