AVS2011 Session EL+AS+EM+MS+PS+TF-FrM: Spectroscopic Ellipsometry: Future Directions and New Techniques

Friday, November 4, 2011 8:20 AM in Room 209

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8:20 AM EL+AS+EM+MS+PS+TF-FrM-1 Current Trends and Future Outlook for Spectroscopic Ellipsometry
James Hilfiker, Blaine Johs, Craig Herzinger, Thomas Tiwald (J.A. Woollam Co., Inc.)

This talk reviews the significant developments in spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) in areas including extending spectral range, improving accuracy, and enhancing speed. Current SE applications owe much to hardware and software developments of the past. Thus, today’s research efforts may reach full potential for applications years or even decades from now. With this in mind, we point to the current state-of-the-art and what this may mean for future SE applications.

Three important areas will be explored. First, there has been a continual trend to expand SE wavelength range. This has included extensions to both shorter and longer wavelengths. For the latter, there is current development into the THz. More immediate benefit may come from smaller SE extensions from the ultraviolet to the near infrared. For example, further near-infrared extensions help to characterize modern transparent conductive oxides (TCOs), used in both inorganic and organic photovoltaic stacks.

Second, we look at the search for improved SE accuracy. Substantial improvements have come with the development of new ellipsometer technologies, progressing from rotating analyzer/polarizer to rotating compensator and now dual-rotating compensator ellipsometers. In addition to improved accuracy, this technology provides advanced measurements, including the complete Mueller-matrix. This will open SE characterization to new applications of anisotropic, nanostructured, and even patterned thin films. Accuracy enhancements must be compatible with the expanding SE spectral range. Infrared SE has overcome many non-ideal optical components to provide measurements competitive to standard FTIR measurements.

Third, we look at the quest for improved measurement speed. This development is constrained by the previous requirements. The benefits of a wide spectral range generally outweigh speed requirements; otherwise laser-based ellipsometry would still have a strong foot-hold. Thus, compromises are made depending on application. Current instrumentation typically utilizes detector arrays for multi-channel SE measurements.

To conclude, we will look at the SE outlook and how it may take advantage of wavelength range, accuracy, and speed. In-line and in-situ SE measurements show special promise. Significant improvements in instrumentation, computing speed, and software are now making these applications more feasible. In addition, there are novel ideas to provide sample access and overcome non-ideal measurement conditions for in-line and in-situ SE. Significant progress in many different areas promises to extend ellipsometry into new areas – many of which are being studied by researchers today.

9:00 AM EL+AS+EM+MS+PS+TF-FrM-3 THz Optical Hall-effect and MIR-VUV Ellipsometry Characterization of 2DEG Properties in a HfO2 Passivated AlGaN/GaN HEMT Structure
Stefan Schöche (U. of Nebraska - Lincoln); Junxia Shi (Cornell U.); Alexander Boosalis, Philipp Kühne (U. of Nebraska - Lincoln); Craig Herzinger, John Woollam (J.A. Woollam Co., Inc.); William Schaff, Lester Eastman (Cornell U.); Vanya Darakchieva (Linkoping U., Sweden); Mathias Schubert, Tino Hofmann (U. of Nebraska - Lincoln)

Nitride based high electron mobility transistors (HEMT) utilize the formation of a two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) at the interface between GaN and AlGaN due to a difference in spontaneous polarization. It is known that surface traps significantly influence the electrical properties of this 2DEG. Accurate knowledge about the influence of surface passivation on the channel properties is crucial. The device performance is governed by the mobility, the sheet charge density, and the effective mass of electrons in the 2DEG. These parameters are typically determined by electrical Hall effect (EHE), Shubnikov-de Haas (SdH), or cyclotron resonance (CR) measurements. Commonly these experiments require very low temperatures and high magnetic fields. Complex contact configurations are required for SdH and EHE and the ability to locate the 2DEG and possible parallel current paths is limited.

We present non-contact, optical measurements of free-charge carrier mobility, sheet density, and effective mass parameters of the 2DEG for a HfO2-passivated AlGaN/GaN HEMT structure at room temperature. Spectroscopic ellipsometry in the spectral range from THz and Mid-IR to VUV and THz optical Hall-effect (generalized ellipsometry in magnetic field) (OHE) are employed.

The MIR measurements are performed for analysis of the heterostructure constituents’ layer thickness, phonon modes, and volume free charge carriers. The phonon mode parameters were found to be in excellent agreement with literature values and the existence of significant volume charge carrier concentrations could be excluded. NIR to VUV ellipsometry is used to determine the thickness of the thin top layers. From a line-shape analysis in the VUV spectral range the optical constants of the HfO2 passivation layer could be extracted. An amorphous structure of the HfO2 passivation layer could be confirmed by comparison with existing studies in literature.

OHE in the THz spectral range is performed for characterization of the 2DEG channel parameters. A classical Drude model for free charge carrier contribution to the dielectric function was applied to determine the sheet density, the carrier mobility, and the effective mass of the 2DEG electrons. The electron effective mass of (0.22±0.04) m0 extracted here using OHE corroborates the values found in previous SdH and CR studies. The values for the high-frequency sheet density and carrier mobility obtained by the optical investigations in the THz spectral range are in excellent agreement with results from dc EHE measurements indicative within linear Boltzmann transport theory for frequency-independent carrier scattering mechanisms of the 2D carrier distribution.

9:20 AM EL+AS+EM+MS+PS+TF-FrM-4 Vector-Magneto-Optical Generalized Ellipsometry on Sculptured Thin Films
Daniel Schmidt, Chad Briley, Eva Schubert, Mathias Schubert (University of Nebraska - Lincoln)

Sculptured thin films are self-organized and self-assembled three-dimensional nanostructures with tunable geometries. These artificial nanostructured thin films exhibit highly anisotropic physical properties, which mainly depend on their specific geometry.

Slanted, highly-spatially coherent, columnar nanostructure samples were prepared by glancing angle electron-beam deposition. Glancing angle deposition is a bottom-up fabrication technique that employs a physical vapor deposition process at oblique angles where the trajectory of the incoming particle flux is not parallel to the substrate normal. The technique allows to engineer the columnar film structure and is today amongst the most promising self-organized fabrication processes in micro- and nanotechnology.

We present and discuss the novel approach of vector-magneto-optical generalized ellipsometry on ferromagnetic permalloy nanostructured thin films carried out at room temperature. Investigations have shown that the metal alloy thin films are highly transparent, reveal strong form-induced birefringence, and exhibit intriguing magneto-optical anisotropy. Spatial magnetization orientation hysteresis and magnetization magnitude hysteresis properties are studied using a three-dimensional Helmholtz coil arrangement. This particular octupole setup allows for arbitrary magnetic field directions at the sample position with field strengths up to 200 mT while optical access is granted for reflection and transmission-type ellipsometry measurements. Analysis of data obtained within this unique vector-magneto-optic setup reveals magnetization anisotropy of the permalloy slanted nanocolumns and gives insight into switching behavior of confined magnetic domains.

9:40 AM EL+AS+EM+MS+PS+TF-FrM-5 THz Dielectric Anisotropy of Metal Slanted Columnar Thin Films
Tino Hofmann, Daniel Schmidt, Alexander Boosalis, Philipp Kühne, Ralph Skomski (University of Nebraska-Lincoln); Craig Herzinger, John Woollam (J.A. Woollam Co., Inc.); Mathias Schubert, Eva Schubert (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

Sculptured thin films (STFs) present an interesting class of self-organized, artificially made materials with three-dimensional, highly spatially coherent arrangements of nanostructures. Contemporary interest in materials for terahertz (THz) electronic, optoelectronic, and optical applications is redrawing attention to STFs that may enable designed optical properties for the THz frequency region.

We report on the anisotropic optical dielectric functions of a metal (cobalt) slanted columnar thin film deposited by electron-beam glancing angle deposition for the THz frequency domain using generalized spectroscopic ellipsometry. A simple anisotropic Bruggeman effective medium dielectric function homogenization approach is successfully employed to describe the observed optical response. This approach describes isolated, electrically conductive columns which render the thin film biaxial (orthorhombic). The anisotropy induced by the columnar film structure is very large. The anisotropic Bruggeman effective medium approach predicts upon slight modifications of Drude, fraction and/or depolarization parameters that targeted optical properties of STF in the THz range can be achieved by variation of slanting angle, lateral column density, and material.

10:00 AM EL+AS+EM+MS+PS+TF-FrM-6 A Compact High-speed Spectroscopic Ellipsometer
Gai Chin (ULVAC Inc., Japan)

Recently, we developed a compact, high-speed spectroscopic ellipsometer. It analyzes the spectrums obtained from the polarization interference occurring between two multiple-order retarders which snapshot the wavelength distribution of the sample’s spectroscopic polarization parameters. This innovative spectroscopic ellipsometer can measure the thickness and optical constants of thin films at a dramatically fast speed. Its acquisition time is as short as 10 ms. It does not require the conventional complex mechanical or active components for polarization-control, such as a rotating compensator and an electro-optical modulator. It can open great opportunities for new applications of the spectroscopic ellipsometry in which the compactness, the simplicity and the rapid response are extremely important. For example, it was integrated into the deposition tool and successfully measured thin films in the vacuum chamber.

This paper describes the principle, system configuration and our innovative efforts on developing the compact high-speed spectroscopic ellipsometer. Some typical application data will be also introduced, such as in line and in situ measurements for photovoltaic, flat panel display and semiconductor industries.

10:20 AM EL+AS+EM+MS+PS+TF-FrM-7 Ellipsometry Porosimetry (EP): In Situ Spectroscopic Ellipsometry Measurements Coupled with Pressure Controlled Adsorption of Organic Vapors to Study Properties of Nano-Porous Thin Films
J.P. Piel, L. Kitzinger, A. Bondaz, C. Defranoux (SEMILAB-SOPRALAB, France)

Ellipsometric porosimetry (EP) is a non contact, non destructive technique that is cited as a reference technique for porous thin film analysis [1, 2]. As it is based on a spectroscopic ellipsometric measurement, the technique allows the precise determination of the refractive indices and thickness of the porous films. The advantage of these EP tools is that the combination of this well established spectroscopic ellipsometric (SE) technique with a suitably adapted adsorption chamber permits access to all the information obtained by classic adsorption experiments (e.g. BET) on thin films with an excellent sensitivity. Information such as open and closed porosity, pore size distribution etc... can be thus obtained.

In addition the EP allows access to a multitude of information that the classic equipment does not. For example, Spectroscopic Ellipsometry allows to follow the variation of the sample thickness during the adsorption experiment, leading to the determination of the Young’s Modulus for the thin films. This will be presented. The technique is highly sensitive to the detection of interfaces; it is thus possible to detect a porosity gradient or to study a multilayer structure and thereafter simultaneously plot the two corresponding adsorption isotherms [3]. In the same manner, the instrument permits the use of a range of different gases adsorptive in order to tailor the probe molecule to the morphology and to the chemistry of the porous layer at ambient temperature [4]. We thus obtain information on the chemistry of the pores within the layer, before, during and after the adsorption experiment. Recent developments include the implementation of the FTIR interferometer SE extension to the EP system. It allows a precise characterization of the chemistry of the pores within the layer. We thus obtain information on the chemical bonds present in the layers before, during and after the adsorption experiment. Preliminary results will be presented.

Specifically, this fundamental technique permits the thorough characterization of porous thin film samples. We will demonstrate some of the different features of the EP technique with regards to the morphological and chemical properties of the porous thin films. Additionally, we will illustrate the technique for various thin film applications such as solgel thin films, nanofilms for catalysis, photovoltaic cells, fuel cells, optical sensors, and bio-compatible materials to name but a few.

References :

[1] M.R. Baklanov et al, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 18, 1385 (2000).

[2] C. Wongmanerod et al, Appl. Surf. Sci. 172, 117 (2001).

[3] A. Bourgeois et al, Thin Solid Films 455-456, 366 (2004).

[4] A. Bourgeois et al, Adsorption 11, 195 (2005).

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