Abstract

The cleaning procedures applied in the wafer processing of thin a-Si:H overlayers have been monitored by spectroscopic ellipsometry. By selecting a suitable sample configuration and exploiting a tunable angle of incidence, we show that spectroscopic ellipsometry is extremely sensitive to small modifications at the vacuum–a-Si:H interface induced by the cleaning procedures. Experimental results are presented on the characterization of thin (3–12-nm) a-Si:H films on top of thermally oxidized crystalline silicon. Submonolayer sensitivity of the ellipsometric measurement to changes in a-Si:H film thickness is shown.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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