Abstract

We demonstrate an optical scheme for measuring the thickness of thin nanolayers with the use of light beam’s spatial modes. The novelty in our scheme is the projection of the beam reflected by the sample onto a properly tailored spatial mode. In the experiment described below, we are able to measure a step height smaller than 10 nm, i.e., one-eightieth (1/80) of the wavelength with a standard error in the picometer scale. Since our scheme enhances the signal-to-noise ratio, which effectively increases the sensitivity of detection, the extension of this technique to the detection of subnanometric layer thicknesses is feasible.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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