Abstract

An exact formalism devoted to the determination of dispersion coefficients is described. The method takes into account two frequent experimental configurations: a solid thin layer on a substrate and a fluid, or solid, layer between a substrate and a superstrate. Introducing the concepts of reduction and reduced finesse, this method is based entirely on the fringes’ spectral position of the maxima in the transmittance spectrum. It is found that the chromatic dispersion does not affect the spectral position of the minima in the same way as it does for the maxima. There is no need to get the refractive-index curve, n(λ), to determine the dispersion coefficients nor to work at multiple incidence angles. Bringing together the possible nonrestrictive approximations, the method becomes easy and simple to implement from a spectrophotometer in tandem with a computer. In addition, the spectrometer does not require ordinate-axis calibration, and knowledge of the substrate’s and superstrate’s refractive index is not required. Alternatively, the method can be easily used to accurately determine the thickness of thin layers. A numerical example using a thin layer of 2-methyl-4-nitroaniline (MNA) is given.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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