Abstract

A nondestructive method for measuring the duty cycles of metal grating masks formed on top of dielectric substrates is proposed. For a near-normal angle of incidence, the zeroth diffracted order transmission efficiency curves for both TE and TM polarized probe lights, as a function of duty cycles, behave linearly in the duty cycle ranging from 0 to 1. By comparing the measured efficiencies, or the ratio of zeroth-order transmission efficiency for TM polarization to that for TE polarization, with that of the rigorous-coupled wave analysis (RCWA) method for a fixed grating period and depth, one can determine the duty cycle of the grating. By selecting the probe light appropriately, the measurement errors originating from deviations of the incident angle and grating depth can be negligible. This method is applicable for all metal gratings, which are not easy to measure nondestructively due to fine grooves smaller than the wavelength. This method is simple, accurate, nondestructive, and low-cost. The results of experimental verification are presented and show excellent agreement with scanning electron microscope images.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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