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Appl Opt. 1997 Nov 1;36(31):8190-8.

Two-modulator generalized ellipsometry: theory.


A new ellipsometer is described that uses two photoelastic modulator-polarizer pairs, where the photoelastic modulators are operating at differing resonant frequencies. The time-dependent intensity of the light beam is extremely complicated but can be analyzed so that all elements of the sample Mueller matrix are obtained. For a given configuration, nine of the Mueller matrix elements can be measured at any one time; the other seven elements are accessible when the azimuthal angles of the photoelastic modulators are changed. The single-configuration measurement is often sufficient to characterize a number of real situations completely, such as film growth in a vacuum environment, anisotropic samples, and simple depolarization.

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