Abstract

We present a novel and nondestructive method for measuring the duty cycles (ratio of ridge width to period) of submicrometer rectangular photoresist gratings made on top of multilayer dielectric stacks. The method exploits the fact that the effective index of the leaky mode that has a strong evanescent tail in the cladding changes with the duty cycle of the grating situated at the interface between the top dielectric layer and the cladding. By comparing measured coupling angles of the leaky mode with a theoretical or experimentally calibrated relationship between coupling angles and duty cycle, one can determine the duty cycle of the grating. This method is applicable even when the grating period is less than the measurement wavelength. It is simple because it does not require any power measurement. Most importantly, it is virtually independent of groove depth. The physical principle of the method and the results of experimental verification are presented.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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