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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 22, Iss. 20 — Oct. 15, 1983
  • pp: 3177–3181

Measuring refractive index and thickness of thin films: a new technique

Tie-Nan Ding and Elsa Garmire  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 22, Issue 20, pp. 3177-3181 (1983)

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Properties of a leaky quasi-waveguide formed by a thin film of refractive index smaller than the substrate are described. By exciting these leaky waves through the substrate, we have demonstrated a convenient and accurate method of measuring both the refractive index and thickness of thin films. Experimental results are given for polystyrene, with a demonstrated accuracy comparable with both that of prism coupling into a waveguiding film and with ellipsometry.

© 1983 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: February 26, 1983
Published: October 15, 1983

Tie-Nan Ding and Elsa Garmire, "Measuring refractive index and thickness of thin films: a new technique," Appl. Opt. 22, 3177-3181 (1983)

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  12. The main sources of error come from the measurement of angles. For example, for propagation constant N we have ΔN=∂N∂αΔα+∂β∂ϵΔϵ. Here Δα and Δ∊ are the experimental deviation of the incident angles and the angle of prism, respectively. In our experiment Δα ≈ Δ∊ ≈ 1 min, so that ΔN = 0.0003 is the same order of magnitude as the rms error of N̅ in Table I.

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