Abstract

A polarizer–sample–Wollaston prism analyzer ellipsometer is described in which the ellipsometric angles ψ and Δ are determined by direct measurement of the elliptically polarized light reflected from the sample. With the Wollaston prism initially set to transmit p- and s-polarized light, the azimuthal angle P of the polarizer is adjusted until the two beams have equal intensity. This condition yields ψ=±P and ensures that the reflected elliptically polarized light has an azimuthal angle of ±45° and maximum ellipticity. Rotating the Wollaston prism through 45° and adjusting the analyzer azimuth until the two beams again have equal intensity yields the ellipticity that allows Δ to be determined via a simple linear relationship. The errors produced by nonideal components are analyzed. We show that the polarizer dominates these errors but that for most practical purposes, the error in ψ is negligible and the error in Δ may be corrected exactly. A native oxide layer on a silicon substrate was measured at a single wavelength and multiple angles of incidence and spectroscopically at a single angle of incidence. The best fit film thicknesses obtained were in excellent agreement with those determined using a traditional null ellipsometer.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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