Ellipsometry

Ellipsometry is an optical technique for investigating the dielectric properties (complex refractive index or dielectric function) of thin films. Ellipsometry measures the change of polarization upon reflection or transmission and compares it to a model.

It can be used to characterize composition, roughness, thickness (depth), crystalline nature, doping concentration, electrical conductivity and other material properties. It is very sensitive to the change in the optical response of incident radiation that interacts with the material being investigated.

A spectroscopic ellipsometer can be found in most thin film analytical labs. Ellipsometry is also becoming more interesting to researchers in other disciplines such as biology and medicine. These areas pose new challenges to the technique, such as measurements on unstable liquid surfaces and microscopic imaging.

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