Characterizing dielectric tensors from angle-of-incidence mueller matrix images

Paula K. Smith, Russell A. Chipman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Biaxial ellipsometry is a technique that measures the dielectric tensor and thickness of a biaxial substrate, single-layer thin film, or multi-layer structure. The dielectric tensor of a biaxial material consists of the real and imaginary parts of the three orthogonal principal indices (nx+ ikx, ny+ iky and nz + ikz) and three Euler angles (⊖, Φ Δ) to describe its orientation. The method utilized in this work measures an angle-of-incidence Mueller matrix from a Mueller matrix imaging Polarimeter equipped with a pair of microscope objectives with low polarization aberrations. The dielectric tensors for multilayer samples are determined from multi-spectral angle-of-incidence Mueller matrix images in either a transmission or reflection mode using an appropriate dispersion model. Given approximate a priori knowledge of the dielectric tensor and film thickness, a Jones matrix image is first calculated by solving Maxwell's equations at each surface which is then transformed into a Mueller matrix image. An optimization algorithm then finds the best fit dielectric tensor based on matching the measured and calculated angle-of-incidence Mueller matrix images. One use for this application is to more accurately determine the dielectric tensors of biaxial films used in liquid crystal displays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPolarization Science and Remote Sensing III
StatePublished - 2007
EventPolarization Science and Remote Sensing III - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 29 2007Aug 30 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherPolarization Science and Remote Sensing III
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Biaxial
  • Birefringent
  • Dielectric tensor
  • Ellipsometry
  • Polarimetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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