Abstract

The possibilities of determining the parameters of uniaxially anisotropic ultrathin nonabsorbing dielectric films on absorbing or transparent isotropic substrates by surface differential reflectance measurements are analyzed. The analysis is based on analytical reflection formulas obtained in the framework of a long-wavelength approximation. It is shown that, in the case of transparent substrates, it is always possible to determine the thickness of a uniaxially ultrathin film and its four parameters of anisotropy (optical constants no and ne and angles θ and φ) simultaneously. However, for such films on absorbing substrates, it is possible to decouple the thickness and optical constants by differential reflectance measurements only if θ0. The accuracy of the obtained analytic formulas for determining the parameters of ultrathin films is estimated by computer simulations where the reflection problem was solved numerically on the basis of the rigorous electromagnetic theory for anisotropic layered systems.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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