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23 September 2015 Predicting polarization performance of high-numerical aperture inspection lenses
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Along the course of increasing through-put and improving signal to noise ratio in optical wafer and mask inspection, demands on wave front aberrations and polarization characteristics are ever increasing. The system engineers and optical designers involved in the development of such optical systems will be responsible for specifying the quality of the optical material and the mechanical tolerances. Among optical designers it is well established how to estimate the wave front error of assembled and adjusted optical devices via sensitivity or Monte-Carlo analysis. However, when compared with the scalar problem of wave front estimation, the field of polarization control deems to pose a more complex problem due to its vectorial nature. Here we show our latest results in how to model polarization affecting aspects. In the realm of high numerical aperture (NA) inspection optics we will focus on the impact of coatings, stress induced birefringence due to non-perfect lens mounting, and finally the birefringence of the optical material. With all these tools at hand, we have a more complete understanding of the optical performance of our assembled optical systems. Moreover, we are able to coherently develop optical systems meeting demanding wave front criteria as well as high end polarization specifications.
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Stephan Fahr, Jan Werschnik, Matthias Bening, and Kristina Uhlendorf "Predicting polarization performance of high-numerical aperture inspection lenses", Proc. SPIE 9626, Optical Systems Design 2015: Optical Design and Engineering VI, 96260B (23 September 2015);


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