Abstract

We investigate the systematic errors at the second order for a Mueller matrix ellipsometer in the dual rotating compensator configuration. Starting from a general formalism, we derive explicit second- order errors in the Mueller matrix coefficients of a given sample. We present the errors caused by the azimuthal inaccuracy of the optical components and their influences on the measurements. We demonstrate that the methods based on four-zone or two-zone averaging measurement are effective to vanish the errors due to the compensators. For the other elements, it is shown that the systematic errors at the second order can be canceled only for some coefficients of the Mueller matrix. The calibration step for the analyzer and the polarizer is developed. This important step is necessary to avoid the azimuthal inaccuracy in such elements. Numerical simulations and experimental measurements are presented and discussed.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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