An optical method to determine the nanostructure and the morphology of porous thin films is presented. This procedure is based on the response of a side-polished optical fiber with the film under study, when an adsorption-desorption cycle is carried out. Spectroscopic ellipsometry provides additional information about the optical properties and adsorption behavior of the film. Pore size distribution, anisotropy, and inhomogeneity of films can be determined by use of these two complementary techniques. To check the performances and suitability of the optical method, we have characterized a typical porous material: a TiO<sub>2</sub> film deposited by evaporation. Water vapor has been used for the adsorption cycles. The well-known columnar structure of the evaporated TiO<sub>2</sub> has been evidenced, and the relation between the nanostructure and the optical properties of the film is showed.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
(060.2370) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics sensors
(120.2130) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Ellipsometry and polarimetry
(310.6860) Thin films : Thin films, optical properties
Alberto Álvarez-Herrero, Hector Guerrero, Eusebio Bernabeu, and David Levy, "Analysis of Nanostructured Porous Films by Measurement of Adsorption Isotherms with Optical Fiber and Ellipsometry," Appl. Opt. 41, 6692-6701 (2002)