Abstract

We discuss a new method to estimate the absorption coefficient, the index of refraction, and the thickness of thin films using optical transmission data only. To solve the problem we used a pointwise constrained optimization approach, defining a nonlinear programming problem, the unknowns of which are the coefficients to be estimated, with linear constraints that represent prior knowledge about the physical solution. The method applies to all kinds of transmission spectra and does not rely on the existence of fringe patterns or transparency. Results on amorphous semiconductor thin films and gedanken films are reported. They show that the new method is highly reliable.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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