Ellipsometry Partnership Announced

J.A. Woollam and Covalent Metrology Services have announced a partnership to promote and further advance spectroscopic ellipsometry technology, a powerful analytical technique used to optically characterize advanced materials and thin films.  The two companies will work together on education, training, and marketing as well as the development of new applications where the sensitivity and convenience of ellipsometry can provide key results for engineering problems.

Ellipsometry measures a change in polarization as light reflects or transmits from a material structure. The polarization change is represented as an amplitude ratio, Ψ, and the phase difference, Δ. The measured response depends on optical properties and thickness of individual materials. Thus, ellipsometry is primarily used to determine film thickness and optical constants. However, it is also applied to characterize composition, crystallinity, roughness, doping concentration, and other material properties associated with a change in optical response.

Covalent offers a broad range of metrology and characterization services, both from its Silicon Valley laboratory and a proprietary network of partner labs.  Covalent recently acquired a fully equipped RC2 spectroscopic ellipsometer designed and manufactured by J.A. Woollam.  The system has been engineered to have the versatility required for many diverse applications. It features:

  • a wide spectral range from 193 nm to 1690 nm, with over 1,000 individual wavelengths
  • a fully automated 300 mm mapping sample stage for uniformity studies,
  • a variable angle transmission stage,
  • beam focusing down to 300 µm, and
  • full Mueller matrix measurement capability for maximum sensitivity to challenging anisotropic samples.

J.A. Woollam has been the leading manufacturer of spectroscopic ellipsometers for more than 30 years.  The company is based in Lincoln, Nebraska, and will be using Covalent’s Silicon Valley facility for training and demonstrations on the West Coast.  The two parties will leverage their respective strengths collaboratively to provide convenient access to world-class instrumentation and expert optical modeling in the heart of a leading US technological hub.

James Hilfiker, Director at J.A. Woollam says, “The field of spectroscopic ellipsometry has continued to grow for decades and we are extremely excited to partner with Covalent Metrology to offer service measurements on some of the best equipment in the world by some of the top researchers in their area.  Covalent has demonstrated their expertise lies beyond simply providing data to customers, as their team of in-house experts help users understand what each type of measurement can truly provide for their applications.”

Craig Hunter, CEO of Covalent stated, “The Woollam brand and technology are essentially synonymous with spectroscopic ellipsometry. The company has been at the forefront of this field for decades.  We are extremely excited to partner with J.A. Woollam and honored that they view the collaboration with Covalent as a strategic move for them to expand their footprint.”

For more information: www.jawoollam.com    www.covalentmetrology.com