Fast IR laser mapping ellipsometry for the study of functional organic thin films
Fast infrared mapping with sub-millimeter lateral resolution as well as time-resolved infrared studies of kinetic processes of functional organic thin films require a new generation of infrared ellipsometers. We present a novel laboratory-based infrared (IR) laser mapping ellipsometer, in which a laser is coupled to a variable-angle rotating analyzer ellipsometer. Compared to conventional Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) ellipsometers, the IR laser ellipsometer provides ten- to hundredfold shorter measurement times down to 80 ms per measured spot, as well as about tenfold increased lateral resolution of 120 μm, thus enabling mapping of small sample areas with thin-film sensitivity. The ellipsometer, equipped with a HeNe laser emitting at about 2949 cm−1, was applied for the optical characterization of inhomogeneous poly(3-hexylthiophene) [P3HT] and poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) [PNIPAAm] organic thin films used for opto-electronics and bioapplications. With the constant development of tunable IR laser sources, laser-based infrared ellipsometry is a promising technique for fast in-depth mapping characterization of thin films and blends.