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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 18, Iss. 2 — Feb. 1, 2001
  • pp: 426–434

Detection and analysis of depolarization artifacts in rotating-compensator polarimeters

ShiFang Li, Jon Opsal, Hanyou Chu, and David E. Aspnes  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 18, Issue 2, pp. 426-434 (2001)

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Absolute constraints, namely, the Schwarz inequality and a complementary expression derived by us, are used to obtain corresponding absolute constraints on the Fourier coefficients of the intensity transmitted through rotating-compensator polarimeters and ellipsometers. These expressions allow the investigation of artifacts that result in mixed or apparently mixed polarization states over the cross section of the beam, the averaging time of the detector, or the frequency passband of the dispersing element. Examples include multiple internal reflections or inhomogeneous strain within an element, scattered light, and other types of system and component defects that cannot be accessed by means of polarization-state data alone. We apply these results to our polarizer-sample-compensator-analyzer (PSCA) ellipsometer to illustrate capabilities. A simple analytic model is shown to give a quantitative description of depolarization in systems for which the resolution is finite and the retardation varies with wavelength.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(000.2170) General : Equipment and techniques
(000.3110) General : Instruments, apparatus, and components common to the sciences
(120.2130) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Ellipsometry and polarimetry

Original Manuscript: January 3, 2000
Revised Manuscript: August 18, 2000
Manuscript Accepted: August 18, 2000
Published: February 1, 2001

ShiFang Li, Jon Opsal, Hanyou Chu, and David E. Aspnes, "Detection and analysis of depolarization artifacts in rotating-compensator polarimeters," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 18, 426-434 (2001)

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  1. See, for example, H. G. Tompkins, W. A. McGahan, Spectroscopic Ellipsometry and Reflectometry: A User’s Guide (Wiley, New York, 1999).
  2. See, for example, R. M. A. Azzam, N. M. Bashara, Ellipsometry and Polarized Light (North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1977).
  3. M. Born, E. Wolf, Principles of Optics, 5th ed. (Pergamon, Oxford, UK, 1975).
  4. S. Li, J. Fanton, J. Opsal, “Artifacts of elements used in ellipsometry,” available from J. Fanton, Therma-Wave, Inc., 1250 Reliance Way, Fremont, Calif. 94539.
  5. See, for example, the Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Spectroscopic Ellipsometry, Thin Solid Films, 313–314 (1998).
  6. G. E. Jellison, F. A. Modine, “Two-modulator generalized ellipsometry: experiment and calibration,” Appl. Opt. 36, 8184–8189 (1997). [CrossRef]
  7. P. R. Halmos, Finite-Dimensional Vector Spaces (Van Nostrand, Princeton, N.J., 1958).
  8. S. Li, “Jones-matrix analysis with Pauli matrices: application to ellipsometry,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 17, 920–926 (2000). [CrossRef]

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