OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 62, Iss. 8 — Aug. 1, 1972
  • pp: 931–937

Refractive Index, Thickness, and Extinction Coefficient of Slightly Absorbing Thin Films

M. RUIZ-URBIETA and E. M. SPARROW  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 62, Issue 8, pp. 931-937 (1972)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (838 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Methods are developed for the successive determination of the refractive index, thickness, and extinction coefficient of a slightly absorbing thin film situated on a slightly absorbing or transparent substrate. The refractive index is found from a measurement of the Brewster angle for the film-substrate interface. This Brewster angle, termed the second-surface Brewster angle, is shown to be highly insensitive to small values of the extinction coefficient. The film thickness is deduced from measurements of the angles at which maxima and minima occur in the measured distribution of reflectance vs angle of incidence. Thus, neither the refractive index nor the thickness determinations requires the magnitude of the reflectance as input. On the other hand, the extinction coefficient is deduced from the value of the reflectance at a maximum point in the distribution of reflectance vs incidence angle.

M. RUIZ-URBIETA and E. M. SPARROW, "Refractive Index, Thickness, and Extinction Coefficient of Slightly Absorbing Thin Films," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 62, 931-937 (1972)

Sort:  Author  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. F. Abelès, J. Phys. Radium 11, 310 (1950).
  2. O. S. Heavens, in Physics of Thin Films, Vol. 2, edited by G. Hass and R. Thun (Academic, New York, 1964), p. 193.
  3. R. P. Madden, L. R. Canfield, and G. Hass, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 53, 620 (1963).
  4. M. Ruiz-Urbieta, E. M. Sparrow, and E. R. G. Eckert, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 61, 351 (1971).
  5. One of the referees suggested that the present method for determining the film thickness is implicit in two papers by W. R. Hunter [J. Appl. Phys. 34, 1565 (1963); J. Opt. Soc. Am. 54, 15 (1964)]. The problem considered by Hunter was the determination of the refractive index n2 from fringe positions, when the film thickness is known.

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