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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 10, Iss. 2 — Feb. 1, 1971
  • pp: 338–341

Method for Determining the Optical Constants of Semitransparent Films

S. E. Webber and S. R. Scharber, Jr.  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 10, Issue 2, pp. 338-341 (1971)

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It is demonstrated that the interference oscillations in the intensity of light reflected from a substrate during deposition of a semitransparent film allows one to determine the optical constants of the film by graphical techniques. The method assumes that the optical constants of the substrate are known, and that the optical constants of the film are not a function of film thickness. This technique is applicable in any wavelength region, although surface irregularities, which are more important at short wavelengths, will generally lead to an overestimate of k. A discussion of probable errors is presented. Because the method is dependent on multiple reflections through the deposited film it is useful only for small k, or, more precisely, 2πk/n < 1.

© 1971 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: May 7, 1970
Published: February 1, 1971

S. E. Webber and S. R. Scharber, "Method for Determining the Optical Constants of Semitransparent Films," Appl. Opt. 10, 338-341 (1971)

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  1. O. S. Heavens, Optical Properties of Tin Solid Films (Academic, New York, 1955).
  2. D. Male, C. R. Acad. Sci. (Paris) 230, 1349 (1950).
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  8. At normal incidence one may use Eq. 4 (115a) of Ref. 1.
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  10. We follow the notation of Ref. 1, Chap. 4.
  11. We use the term isoreflectance curve in the same sense as Hunter (Ref. 5). This term refers to a curve in the k1, n1 plane that corresponds to a constant reflectivity. In our case we are referring to a constant value of Rmax or Rmin.
  12. L. R. Canfield, G. Hass, W. R. Hunter, J. Phys. Chem. 25, 124 (1964).
  13. D. Beaglehole, Proc. Phys. Soc. (London) 85, 1007 (1965). [CrossRef]
  14. R. G. Johnston, L. R. Canfield, R. P. Madden, Appl. Opt. 6, 719 (1967). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. We have observed well-structured deposition curves on a flat substrate using an f/11.4 monochromator.
  16. S. R. Scharber, S. E. Webber, “The Optical Constants of Simple Molecular Crystals. I. Results for CO and O2,” “ … II. Results for Kr and Xe,” to be published in J. Chem. Phys.

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