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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 10, Iss. 5 — May. 1, 1971
  • pp: 1024–1030

Geometrically Exact Ellipsometer Alignment

D. E. Aspnes and A. A. Studna  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 10, Issue 5, pp. 1024-1030 (1971)

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A procedure is outlined in which the symmetry of the ellipsometer is used to provide the information needed for its own alignment. Alignment is based upon four null measurements taken on a transparent reflecting surface. These are related to the tilt angles of the polarizer and analyzer telescope arms, and reference angles for which the transmitted polarization vectors of the analyzer and polarizer prisms lie in the plane of incidence. The alignment is not affected by the presence of small parasitic ellipticities induced by defects in either polarizer or analyzer prisms. A step-by-step procedure for ellipsometer alignment, which requires only equipment necessary for normal operation of the instrument, is given.

© 1971 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: July 31, 1970
Published: May 1, 1971

D. E. Aspnes and A. A. Studna, "Geometrically Exact Ellipsometer Alignment," Appl. Opt. 10, 1024-1030 (1971)

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  1. F. L. McCrackin, E. Passaglia, R. R. Stromberg, H. L. Steinberg, J. Res. Nat. Bur. Stand. 67A, 363 (1963). [CrossRef]
  2. M. Ghezzo, Brit. J. Appl. Phys. (J. Phys. D) 2, 1483 (1969). [CrossRef]
  3. W. R. Hunter, D. H. Eaton, C. T. Sah, Surface Sci. 20, 355 (1970). [CrossRef]
  4. D. E. Aspnes, A. A. Studna, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 41, 966 (1970). [CrossRef]
  5. D. E. Aspnes, to be published.
  6. The preferred angles of incidence are θi = ±θB, where θB is the Brewster angle of the transparent reflecting surface. The Brewster angle θB is equal to tann, where n is the index of refraction of the transparent reflecting surface. The surface must be thick enough to prevent multiple reflections from entering the analyzer telescope.
  7. Note that this a purely geometric operation which is in no way influenced by the ellipticity parameters discussed in Sec. III.A.
  8. Strictly speaking, the latter two conditions state that both telescope axes intersect the z axis, which is usually obtained only after lateral adjustment of the telescopes. By extending the following analysis, it may be shown that small deviations of this type introduce a first-order error into θi, but affect Aref, Pref, θA′, and θP′ only in second order. They are of no consequence to the results of this and the next section, and will be discussed later.
  9. The effect of s is contained completely in Δ. Since Δ can be absorbed by defining effective telescope tilt angles θA′, θP′, as in Eqs. (9), this shows that the determination of the plane of incidence is not affected to first order by a small difference between the heights of the two telescope pivots. The effect of s being nonzero is to reduce system transmission by vertically eclipsing the transmitted beam. It can be detected by visual inspection of the transmitted image and corrected as discussed later.
  10. W. A. Shurcliff, Polarized Light (Harvard U. P., Cambridge Mass., 1962).

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