A new null ellipsometer is described that uses photoelastic modulator (PEM). The phase modulation adds a good signal-to-noise ratio, high sensitivity, and linearity near null positions to the traditional high-precision nulling system. The ellipsometric angles Δ and ψ are obtained by azimuth measurement of the analyzer and the polarizer-PEM system, for which the first and second harmonics of modulator frequency cross the zeros. We show that the null system is insensitive to ellipsometer misadjustment and component imperfections and modulator calibration is not needed. In addition, a fast ellipsometer mode for fine changes measurement of ellipsometric angles is proposed.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
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