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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 68, Iss. 7 — Jul. 1, 1978
  • pp: 978–983

Characterization of a very thin uniaxial film on a nonabsorbing substrate by multiple wavelength ellipsometry: Palmitic acid on water

G. T. Ayoub and N. M. Bashara  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 68, Issue 7, pp. 978-983 (1978)

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At compact monolayer coverage the anisotropic rodlike molecules of palmitic acid, aligned parallel to each other and perpendicular to the monolayer film, are insensitive to wavelength dispersion relative to a water substrate. The relative absence of dispersion of the monolayer film makes it possible to obtain sufficient data to characterize the three unknowns of palmitic acid: the real refractive indices parallel and perpendicular to the plane of the film and the film thickness. Other nonabsorbing thin-film-substrate systems should lend themselves to similar analysis (where the dispersion of the film is relatively less than that of the substrate); particularly since automated, wavelength-tracking ellipsometers are coming into greater use.

© 1978 Optical Society of America

G. T. Ayoub and N. M. Bashara, "Characterization of a very thin uniaxial film on a nonabsorbing substrate by multiple wavelength ellipsometry: Palmitic acid on water," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 68, 978-983 (1978)

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  1. Ellipsometry in the Measurement of Surface and Thin Films, edited by E. Passaglia, R. R. Stromberg, and J. Kruger, NBS Misc. Publ. 256 (U.S. PO, Washington, D.C., 1964).
  2. Recent Developments in Ellipsometry, edited by N. M. Bashara, A. B. Buckman, and A. C. Hall (North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1969).
  3. Third International Conference on Ellipsometry, edited by N. M. Bashara and R. M. A. Azzam (North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1976).
  4. D. den Engelsen and B. de Koning, J. Chem. Soc. Faraday 1 70, 1603 (1974).
  5. The ellipsometric parameter ψ is neglible for the monolayer, fatty acid film indicating it is nonabsorbing and does not alter the refractive index of the substrate.
  6. This model applies only for the monolayer fatty acid film at saturation. No statistical averaging due to thermal motion of the molecules is taken into account.
  7. M. J. Dignam, M. Moskovitz, and R. W. Stobie, Trans. Faraday Soc. 67, 3306 (1971).
  8. J. R. Zeidler, R. B. Kohles, and N. M. Bashara, Appl. Opt. 13, 1115 (1974).
  9. F. L. McCrackin, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 60, 57 (1970).
  10. D. den Engelsen, Surf. Sci. 56, 272 (1976).
  11. M. M. Ibrahim and N. M. Bashara, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 61, 1622 (1971).
  12. M. Born and E. Wolf, Principles of Optics, 2nd ed. (Pergamon, New York, 1964), p. 50.
  13. The convention on sign of the tangent in the Fresnel equation is that used by many writers. For a discussion of convention see, D. Clarke and F. Granger, Polarized Light and Optical Measurement (Pergamon, New York, 1971).
  14. This accuracy was estimated from the scattering of the results (±0.01°). It also includes calibration error (±0.01°). The cylindrical cell used was tested between two crossed polarizers and was found to have negligible birefringence.
  15. H. M. Dobbins and R. P. Edson, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 63, 318 (1973).

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