Review of Scientific Instruments
A nondestructive optical interferometric method, which enables a direct and simultaneous measurement of small changes in both thickness and refractive index of thin films, is described. Optical interferometric methods are sensitive to the changes in the optical path length (the product of the refractive index and the physical thickness) through the film. Thus, when the film is subjected to changing environmental conditions such as changing temperature or humidity, it is a challenge to determine the change in thickness and the change in refractive index separately, using interferometry. By simultaneously monitoring two different sets of interference fringes, i.e., transmission and reflection fringes, we have been able to successfully address this challenge. Our measurements on well-characterized pedigree glass samples are presented. The results agree well with the expected values for these samples, supporting the feasibility of this characterization technique to new materials. Self-standing, transparent (weakly absorbing) films ranging in thickness from tens to hundreds of microns can be characterized from direct measurements.
© 2001 American Institute of Physics
Easwar, Nalini; Fantini, R.; and Willis, E., "Simultaneous Measurement of Changes in Thickness and Refractive Index of Weakly Absorbing Self-Standing Solid Films Using Optical Interferometry" (2001). Physics: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.