21 June 2015 Measurement errors induced by axis tilt of biplates in dual-rotating compensator Mueller matrix ellipsometers
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Dual-rotating compensator Mueller matrix ellipsometer (DRC-MME) has been designed and applied as a powerful tool for the characterization of thin films and nanostructures. The compensators are indispensable optical components and their performances affect the precision and accuracy of DRC-MME significantly. Biplates made of birefringent crystals are commonly used compensators in the DRC-MME, and their optical axes invariably have tilt errors due to imperfect fabrication and improper installation in practice. The axis tilt error between the rotation axis and the light beam will lead to a continuous vibration in the retardance of the rotating biplate, which further results in significant measurement errors in the Mueller matrix. In this paper, we propose a simple but valid formula for the retardance calculation under arbitrary tilt angle and azimuth angle to analyze the axis tilt errors in biplates. We further study the relations between the measurement errors in the Mueller matrix and the biplate axis tilt through simulations and experiments. We find that the axis tilt errors mainly affect the cross-talk from linear polarization to circular polarization and vice versa. In addition, the measurement errors in Mueller matrix increase acceleratively with the axis tilt errors in biplates, and the optimal retardance for reducing these errors is about 80°. This work can be expected to provide some guidences for the selection, installation and commissioning of the biplate compensator in DRC-MME design.
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Honggang Gu, Honggang Gu, Chuanwei Zhang, Chuanwei Zhang, Hao Jiang, Hao Jiang, Xiuguo Chen, Xiuguo Chen, Weiqi Li, Weiqi Li, Shiyuan Liu, Shiyuan Liu, } "Measurement errors induced by axis tilt of biplates in dual-rotating compensator Mueller matrix ellipsometers", Proc. SPIE 9526, Modeling Aspects in Optical Metrology V, 952617 (21 June 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2184772; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2184772

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