A new ellipsometer is described that uses two photoelastic modulator–polarizer pairs, where the photoelastic modulators are operating at differing resonant frequencies. The time-dependent intensity of the light beam is extremely complicated but can be analyzed so that all elements of the sample Mueller matrix are obtained. For a given configuration, nine of the Mueller matrix elements can be measured at any one time; the other seven elements are accessible when the azimuthal angles of the photoelastic modulators are changed. The single-configuration measurement is often sufficient to characterize a number of real situations completely, such as film growth in a vacuum environment, anisotropic samples, and simple depolarization.
© 1997 Optical Society of America
G. E. Jellison and F. A. Modine, "Two-modulator generalized ellipsometry: theory," Appl. Opt. 36, 8190-8198 (1997)