The investigation of material surfaces and thin layers is of central importance for many applications. As an extension of spectral ellipsometry, ellipsometric porosimetry (EP) has gained considerably in importance for the characterization of porous films.
The in-situ measurement of sorption allows the evaluation of open porosity, pore radius distribution, refractive index of the film backbone and even elastic properties. Multilayer structures and gradients within films can be measured. These properties are particularly interesting for sol-gel derived thin films, which often retain residual porosity after thermal treatment.
Measured quantities of ellipsometric porosimetry in the characterization of porous layers: