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Ivan Ohlídal, Jiří Vohánka, Martin Čermák

Optics of Inhomogeneous Thin Films with Defects: Application to Optical Characterization

Coatings 11 (2021) 31

This review paper is devoted to optics of inhomogeneous thin films exhibiting defects consisting in transition layers, overlayers, thickness nonuniformity, boundary roughness and uniaxial anisotropy. The theoretical approaches enabling the inclusion of these defects into formulae expressing the optical quantities of these inhomogeneous thin films are summarized. These approaches are based on the recursive and matrix formalisms for the transition layers and overlayers, averaging of the elements of the Mueller matrix using local thickness distribution or polynomial formulation for the thickness nonuniformity, scalar diffraction theory and Rayleigh-Rice theory or their combination for boundary roughness and Yeh matrix formalism for uniaxial anisotropy. The theoretical results are illustrated using selected examples of the optical characterization of the inhomogeneous polymer-like thin films exhibiting the combination of the transition layers and thickness nonuniformity and inhomogeneous thin films of nonstoichiometric silicon nitride with the combination of boundary roughness and uniaxial anisotropy. This characterization is realized by variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometry and spectroscopic reflectometry. It is shown that using these optical techniques, the complete optical characterization of the mentioned thin films can be performed. Thus, it is presented that the values of all the parameters characterizing these films can be determined.

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DOI: 10.3390/coatings11010022

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