Ellipsometric inline inspection of dielectric substrates with nonplanar surfaces
An analytical solution for the determination of either angle of incidence (AOI) and the refractive index from combined ellipsometric and reflectometric measurements at dielectric substrates is presented. The solution is of special importance for retroreflex ellipsometry (but not limited to this application). Overcoming the geometric restrictions of conventional ellipsometers, the patented retroreflex ellipsometry can detect changes of intensity and the state of polarization in or at test objects even with curved surfaces. In contrast to conventional ellipsometers where the AOI is set by the adjustment procedure, the AOI is usually unknown in retroreflex ellipsometry. For quantitative analysis, the knowledge of the AOI is nevertheless essential. The proposed combination of retroreflex-reflectometry and retroreflex-ellipsometry opens the path to precise measurements of either surface geometry and index of refraction of nonplanar dielectric substrates (e. g. surfaces of freeform optics).