OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 51, Iss. 18 — Jun. 20, 2012
  • pp: 4113–4119

Autocalibrating Stokes polarimeter for materials characterization

Masaya Shinki, Mario T. Ivanov, Joshua S. Post, Svein Vagle, Jay T. Cullen, and Dennis K. Hore  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 51, Issue 18, pp. 4113-4119 (2012)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (708 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The design and construction of an ellipsometer based on a fixed-wavelength rotating-retarder Stokes polarimeter is described. Details are provided for an automated calibration scheme that provides two advantages for its operation. The first allows the phase of the lock-in amplifiers to be set based on the raw data, without a known calibration sample. The second illustrates that the relative amplitude of the acquired signals may also be calibrated in a similar manner. As an illustration, the refractive index and thickness of a glass cover slide are determined over a range of incident angles.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.2130) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Ellipsometry and polarimetry
(120.3930) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Metrological instrumentation
(120.4640) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Optical instruments
(120.6200) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Spectrometers and spectroscopic instrumentation
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization

ToC Category:
Instrumentation, Measurement, and Metrology

Original Manuscript: February 13, 2012
Revised Manuscript: April 21, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: May 2, 2012
Published: June 15, 2012

Masaya Shinki, Mario T. Ivanov, Joshua S. Post, Svein Vagle, Jay T. Cullen, and Dennis K. Hore, "Autocalibrating Stokes polarimeter for materials characterization," Appl. Opt. 51, 4113-4119 (2012)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. A. Rothen, “The ellipsometer: an apparatus to measure the thickness of thin surface films,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 16, 26–30 (1945). [CrossRef]
  2. R. M. A. Azzam and N. M. Bashara, Ellipsometry and Polarized Light (North-Holland, 1977).
  3. H. G. Tompkins and E. A. Irene, Handbook of Ellipsometry (William Andrew, 2005).
  4. J. Humliček, “Polarized light and ellipsometry,” in Handbook of Ellipsometry (Springer, 2005), pp. 3–93.
  5. H. G. Tompkins, A User’s Guide to Ellipsometry (Dover, 2006).
  6. D. E. Aspnes, “Expanding horizons: new developments in ellipsometry and polarimetery,” Thin Solid Films 455–456, 3–13 (2004). [CrossRef]
  7. P. S. Hauge and F. H. Dill, “A rotating-compensator Fourier ellipsometer,” Opt. Commun. 14, 431–437 (1975). [CrossRef]
  8. D. E. Aspnes and P. S. Hauge, “Rotating-compensator/analyzer fixed-analyzer ellipsometer: analysis and comparison to other automatic ellipsometers,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 66, 949–954 (1976). [CrossRef]
  9. D. E. Aspnes, “Optimizing precision of rotating-analyzer and rotating-compensator ellipsometers,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 21, 403–410 (2004). [CrossRef]
  10. M. Losurdo, M. Bergmair, G. Bruno, D. Cattelan, C. Cobet, A. Martino, K. Fleischer, Z. Dohcevic-Mitrovic, N. Esser, M. Galliet, R. Gajic, D. Hemzal, K. Hingerl, J. Humlicek, R. Ossikovski, Z. V. Popovic, and O. Saxl, “Spectroscopic ellipsometry and polarimetry for materials and systems analysis at the nanometer scale: state-of-the-art, potential, and perspectives,” J. Nanopart. Res. 11, 1521–1554 (2009). [CrossRef]
  11. G. C. Giakos, A. Medithe, S. Sumrain, S. Sukumar, L. Fraiwan, and A. Orozco, “Laser polarimetric imaging of surface defects of semiconductor wafers, microelectronics, and spacecraft structures,” IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas. 55, 2126–2131 (2006). [CrossRef]
  12. D. K. Goyal and A. Subramanian, “In-situ protein adsorption study on biofunctionalized surfaces using spectroscopic ellipsometry,” Thin Solid Films 518, 2186–2193 (2010). [CrossRef]
  13. S. G. Thakurta, H. J. Viljoen, and A. Subramanian, “Evaluation of the real-time protein adsorption kinetics on albumin-binding surfaces by dynamic in situ spectroscopic ellipsometry,” Thin Solid Films 520, 2200–2207 (2012). [CrossRef]
  14. J. J. I. Ramos, S. Stahl, R. P. Richter, and S. E. Moya, “Water content and buildup of poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride)/poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate) and poly(allylamine hydrochloride)/poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate) polyelectrolyte multilayers studied by an in situ combination of a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring and spectroscopic ellipsometry,” Macromolecules 43, 9063–9070 (2010). [CrossRef]
  15. K. Buchner, N. Ehrhardt, B. P. Cahill, and C. Hoffmann, “Internal reflection ellipsometry for real-time monitoring of polyelectrolyte multilayer growth onto tantalum pentoxide,” Thin Solid Films 519, 6480–6485 (2011). [CrossRef]
  16. M. Kuwahara, R. Endo, K. Tsutsumi, F. Morikasa, T. Tsuroka, T. Fukaya, M. Suzuki, M. Susa, T. Endo, and T. Tadokoro, “Approach for measuring complex refractive index of molten Sb2Te3 by spectroscopic ellipsometry,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 100, 101910 (2012). [CrossRef]
  17. J.-F. Lin, J.-S. Wu, C.-H. Huang, T.-T. Liao, and C.-C. Chang, “The application of a rotating-wave-plate stokes polarimeter for measurement of the optical rotation angle,” Optik 122, 14–19 (2011). [CrossRef]
  18. J.-F. Lin, “Concurrent measurement of linear and circular birefringence using rotating-wave-plate stokes polarimeter,” Appl. Opt. 47, 4529–4539 (2008). [CrossRef]
  19. D. K. Hore, A. Natansohn, and P. Rochon, “Optical anisotropy as a probe of structural order by stokes polarimetry,” J. Phys. Chem. B 106, 9004–9012 (2002). [CrossRef]
  20. D. K. Hore, A. L. Natansohn, and P. L. Rochon, “The characterization of photoinduced chirality in a liquid-crystalline azo polymer on irradiation with circularly polarized light,” J. Phys. Chem. B 107, 2506–2518 (2003). [CrossRef]
  21. W. R. Hunter, “Effects of component imperfections on ellipsometer calibration,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 63, 951–957 (1973). [CrossRef]
  22. F. L. McCrackin, “Analysis and corrections of instrumental errors in ellipsometry,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 60, 57–63 (1970). [CrossRef]
  23. S. F. Nee, “Error reductions for a serious compensator imperfection for null ellipsometry,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 8, 314–321 (1991). [CrossRef]
  24. P. S. Hauge, “Generalized rotating-compensator ellipsometry,” Surf. Sci. 56, 148–160 (1976). [CrossRef]
  25. R. Kleim, L. Kuntzler, and A. El Ghemmaz, “Systematic errors in rotating-compensator ellipsometry,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 11, 2550–2559 (1994). [CrossRef]
  26. W. G. Oldeam, “Ellipsometry using a retardation plate as compensator,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 57, 617–622 (1967). [CrossRef]
  27. C. Flueraru, S. Latoui, J. Besse, and P. Legendre, “Error analysis of a rotating quarter-wave plate Stokes polarimeter,” IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas. 57, 731–735 (2008). [CrossRef]
  28. Y. W. Liu, G. A. Jones, Y. Peng, and T. H. Shen, “Generalized theory and application of Stokes parameter measurements made with a single photoelastic modulator,” J. Appl. Phys. 100, 063537 (2006). [CrossRef]
  29. E. Hecht and A. Zajac, Optics (Addison-Wesley, 1979).
  30. R. Byrd, P. Lu, and J. Nocedal, “A limited memory algorithm for bound constrained optimization,” SIAM J. Sci. Stat. Comput. 16, 1190–1208 (1995). [CrossRef]
  31. C. Zhu, R. Byrd, and J. Nocedal, “L-BFGS-B: algorithm 778: L-BFGS-B, FORTRAN routines for large scale bound constrained optimization,” ACM Trans. Math. Softw. 23, 550–560 (1997). [CrossRef]
  32. K. C. Jena and D. K. Hore, “A simple transmission-based approach for determining the thickness of transparent films,” Am. J. Phys. 79, 256–260 (2011). [CrossRef]
  33. G. Bucher, Corning 0211, Tech. Rep. (Characterization Science and Services Directorate, Corning Inc., 2003).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited