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Title: Non-linear model fitting for the measurement of thin films and surface topography
Author: Yoshino, Hirokazu
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 0117
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2017
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Inspection of optical components is essential to assure the quality and performance of optical systems. Evaluation of optical components includes metrology measurements of surface topography. It also requires optical measurements including refractive index, thin film thickness, reflectivity and transmission. The dispersion characteristics of optical constants including refractive index are also required. Hence, various instruments are used to make these measurements in research laboratories and for quality assurance. Clearly, it would be a significant advantage and cost saving if a technique was developed that could combine surface metrology with optical measurements. {Coherence Scanning Interferometry} (CSI) (also referred to as {Scanning White Light Interferometry} (SWLI)) has been used widely to measure surface topography with sub-nanometre vertical resolution. One of the benefits of the CSI is that the technique is non-contacting and hence non-destructive. Thus the test surfaces are not affected by the measurement using a CSI instrument whereas damage to the surfaces can occur when using traditional contact methods such as stylus profilometry. However use of CSI is geometrically limited to small areas ($\lesssim 10 \times 10$ mm) with gentle slopes ($\lesssim \ang{40}$) because of the numerical aperture of objective lens whereas stylus profilometry works well with larger areas and higher slopes due to the range of motion of the gauge and the traverse unit. Since the CSI technique is optical and involves light reflection and interference it is possible to extend the technique for the measurement of the thickness of transparent films, the roughness of surfaces buried beneath thin films or interfacial surfaces. It may also be used to determine spectral complex refractive index. This thesis provides an analytical framework of new methods to obtain complex refractive index in a visible light domain and interfacial surface roughness (ISR). It also provides experimental verification of these new capabilities using actual thin film model systems. The original Helical Complex Field (HCF) function theory is presented followed by its existing extensions that enable determination of complex refractive index and interfacial surface roughness. Further theoretical extensions of the HCF theory are also provided: A novel theory to determine the refractive index of a (semi-)transparent film is developed to address the constraint of the current HCF theory that restricted its use to opaque materials; Another novel theory is provided to measure ISR with noise compensation, which avoids erroneous surface roughness caused by the numerical optimisation affected by the existence of noise. The effectiveness of the ISR measurement with noise compensation has been verified using a number of computer simulations. Stylus profilometry is a well established method to provide a profile and has been used extensively as a 'reference' for other techniques. It normally provides a profile on which the roughness and the waviness are computed. Extension of the stylus profilometry technique to areal measurement of asymmetrical surfaces, namely raster scan measurement, requires a system to include error compensation between each traverse. The system errors and the random errors need to be separately understood particular when the measurement of a surface with nanometre-order accuracy is required. In this thesis a mathematical model to locate a stylus tip considering five mechanical errors occurring in a common raster scan profilometer is provided. Based on the model, the simulator which provides an areal measurement of a sphere was developed. The simulator clarified the relationship between the Zernike coefficients obtained from the form residual and the size of the errors in the form of partial derivatives of Zernike coefficients with respect to the errors. This provides theoretical support to the empirical knowledge of the relationship between the coefficients and the errors. Furthermore, a method to determine the size of errors directly from Zernike coefficients is proposed supported by simulations. Some of the error parameters were accurately determined avoiding iterative computation with this method whereas the errors are currently being determined by iterative computation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Taylor Hobson Ltd
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Coherence scanning interferometry ; Thin film ; Refractive index ; Interfacial surface topography ; Freeform ; Areal stylus profilometry ; Zernike polynomials