We describe an improved scheme of spectrally resolved white-light interferometry, which provides 3D visual inspection of a thin-film layer structure with nanometer level resolutions. Compared to the authors’ previous method [Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 091903 (2007)], 3D tomographic information of thin films can be obtained by decoupling the film thickness and top surface profile, which is embodied by inducing spectral carrier frequency to the reference arm and applying a low-pass filter to the interfero gram instead of two troublesome measurement steps of activating and deactivating a mechanical shutter. We test and verify our proposed method by measuring a patterned thin-film layer structure as well as standard specimens of thin films with various thicknesses.
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