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Petr Hlubina, Jiří Lunáček, Dalibor Ciprian

Maxima of the spectral reflectance ratio of polarized waves used to measure the thickness of a nonabsorbing thin film

Optics and Lasers in Engineering 48 (2010) 786–791

A simple method to determine the thickness of a nonabsorbing thin film on an absorbing substrate from maxima of the ratio between the spectral reflectances of p- and s-polarized components reflected from the thin-film structure is presented. The spectral reflectance ratio, which can be measured in a simple polarimetry configuration at a fixed angle of incidence, consists of maxima whose number and positions depend on the thickness of a thin film. An approximative linear relation between the thin-film thickness and a wavelength of the maximum of the reflectance ratio for a specific angle of incidence is revealed, provided that the wavelength-dependent refractive index of the thin film is known and the substrate is weakly absorbing. The relation permits the calculation of the thickness from the measured spectral reflectance ratio by using one maximum only, as is demonstrated theoretically for a SiO2 thin film on a Si substrate. The application of this method is demonstrated experimentally for the same thin-film structure with different thicknesses of the SiO2 thin film. The results are compared with those given by the algebraic fitting method, and very good agreement is confirmed.

Cited Articles

  1. Ohlídal I., Franta D., Ohlídal M., Navrátil K.,
    Optical characterization of nonabsorbing and weakly absorbing thin films with the wavelengths related to extrema in spectral reflectances,
    Applied Optics 40 (2001) 5711–5717