Computational and engineering aspects of in situ ellipsometry


In situ ellipsometry is of interest for the monitoring and controlled growth of thin films. Its extreme sensitivity to thin layers should allow for a precise measurement of interface films °frequently formed at the boundary between a growing film and the substrate, or dissimilar films contained in a optical coating. The installation and operation of an in situ ellipsometer on two different vacuum coating systems is the experimental part of this thesis. As a numerical computational test an algorithm and computer code has been developed for computing, from the'¥ and~ measurements, the thickness (d) and the complex refractive index (n-ik) of a growing film with an interface layer on a known substrate. The 'Y and Li measurements are performed at different times during film growth. The time required for a complete solution is highly dependent upon the initial information known about the deposited film. The numerical solutions of the ellipsometer equations for n, k, and d, are performed with a 25 MHz 80386 microprocessor based PC with an 80387 math co-processor. The algorithm was successfully able to accurately determine the optical parameters of several numerically generated film models. The absorption coefficient of one of the models deviated slightly from the expected value, this could be attributed to either round off errors or the solution approach. Actual ellipsometer measurements during film growth were not taken because of reproducibility problems encountered with the use of the in situ ellipsometer with two different vacuum systems. The problems are discussed in detail and solutions are proposed for the future in-process use of the ellipsometer.


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Graduation Date





Guenther, Karl H.


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Engineering


Electrical Engineering

Degree Program

Electrical Engineering





Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)




Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering; Engineering -- Dissertations, Academic

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