Polarization-enhanced imaging of photoresist gratings in the real-time scanning optical microscope

Timothy R. Corle, Lynda C. Mantalas, Torsten R. Kaack, Lloyd J. LaComb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A method of imaging sub-0.5-pLm-dense photoresist lines with the real-time scanning optical microscope by the use of elliptically polarized light is developed. The imaging method takes advantage of the fact that polarized light undergoes a change in polarization when reflected from a grating structure. A confocal scanning optical microscope is modified to image this light. The resulting images show an increase in the detected intensity of the light reflected from the substrate region of the grating. Increasing this signal level improves the ability of the microscope to make linewidth measurements on photoresist structures as small as 0.3 μm. Results from several different semiconductor substrates are presented. A brief review of the grating theory is presented to suggest possible origins for the increase in light intensity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)670-677
Number of pages8
JournalApplied optics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1994


  • Confocal microscopes
  • Gratings
  • Imaging
  • Optical microscopes
  • Polarization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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