Education & Outreach > Short Courses > Short Course Catalog > Materials Characterization > Introduction to Spectroscopic Ellipsometry

Introduction to Spectroscopic Ellipsometry

Introduction to Spectroscopic Ellipsometry

Course Objectives

  • Understand the analytical measurement technique called Spectroscopic Ellipsometry
  • Learn about measuring the thickness and optical functions of very thin films.
  • Understand concept of polarized light and method of describing optical functions.
  • Determine the thickness and optical functions of a very thin film using spectroscopic ellipsometry. 

Course Description

In this course, we first deal with the fundamentals of light and polarization for transparent materials and for absorbing materials.  We then show how the optical functions, (index of refraction and extinction coefficient) are represented as a function of wavelength (or photon energy).  The optical functions are represented as either a tabulated list, as a polynomial, or as a series of oscillators (representing the absorbing regions).  We then discuss the interaction of light with matter.  This is followed by a discussion of the instrumentation used and the analytical methods and approach.  In ellipsometry, the actual measurement is easy and quick.  Transforming the measured data into quantities of interest (thickness and the optical functions) is somewhat involved and we spend a significant time dealing with this issue.   Finally, we illustrate the process with several examples, ranging from the simple to rather complicated analyses.

Course Materials

Course Notes

Course Cost: $790

Who should attend?

The course is directed toward scientists, engineers, and technicians who are experts in their own experimental techniques (other than ellipsometry) and who wish to use spectroscopic ellipsometry to measure the results of their deposition or film growth efforts.


Harland G. Tompkins

Ron Synowicki
Applications Engineer with the J.A. Woollam Company