This article provides a brief overview of both established and novel ellipsometry techniques, as well as their applications. Ellipsometry is an indirect optical technique, in that information about the physical properties of a sample is obtained through modeling analysis. Standard ellipsometry
is typically used to characterize optically isotropic bulk and/or layered materials. More advanced techniques such as Mueller ellipsometry, also known as polarimetry in the literature, are necessary for the complete and accurate characterization of anisotropic and/or depolarizing samples that
occur in many instances, both in research and in real-life activities. In this article, we cover three main subject areas: Basic theory of polarization, standard ellipsometry, and Mueller ellipsometry. The first section is devoted to a short, pedagogical introduction of the formalisms used
to describe light polarization. The second section is devoted to standard ellipsometry. The focus is on the experimental aspects, including both pros and cons of commercially available instruments. The third section is devoted to recent advances in Mueller ellipsometry. Application examples
are provided in the second and third sections to illustrate how each technique works.
Laboratoire De Physique Des Interfaces Et Des Couches Minces, Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique–Ecole Polytechnique, 91228 Palaiseau, France
Publication date: January 1, 2013
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The Society publishes the internationally recognized, peer reviewed journal, Applied Spectroscopy, which is available both in print and online. Subscriptions are included with membership or can be purchased by institutional or corporate organizations. Abstracts may be viewed free of charge. Previously published as Bulletin (Society for Applied Spectroscopy)