Introduction to Spectroscopic Ellipsometry


8:30am-4:30pm, Thursday, May 9th, 2024, Sheraton Albuquerque Airport Hotel, Albuquerque, NM

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.

Who Should Attend?

The intended audience is any engineer, technologist or student associated with or interested in using ellipsometry to characterize materials.


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

Ron Synowicki is an Applications Engineer with the J.A. Woollam Company.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering, both from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Ron has over 25 years of experience working in the field of spectroscopic ellipsometry.  He specializes in new applications development, laboratory operations, customer support, and sample analysis in the Woollam Company ellipsometry laboratory.  Ron’s interests include thin film measurement and analysis, optical properties of thin films, bulk materials and liquids, and the history of optics and polarized light.

Course Materials

Course Notes

Cost: $790.00
Full Time University Student:  $100

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