JA Woollam collaborates with Linkam on ellipsometry instruments

Both ellipsometry and thermal analysis are fundamental characterisation tools in the study of thin film materials

J. A. Woollam has worked with Linkam Scientific to bring temperature control to its custom ellipsometry instruments.

Through adaptation of Linkam Scientific’s heat stages, the collaboration has provided thin film researchers with temperature controlled ellipsometers for various applications.

Many thin film material applications necessitate the measuring of optical properties at different temperatures in real-time, from bio-coatings and hydrogels for contact lenses to transparent electronics and medical devices.

Temperature-controlled ellipsometry enables the characterisation of properties such as thermal expansion coefficients, which can be determined by monitoring changes in thickness versus temperature.

Linkam has modified the HFS600 heating stage with an optical adapter to facilitate use on an ellipsometer. This adapted temperature controller, now known as the HFSEL600, allows temperature-dependent ellipsometry measurements with all J. A. Woollam systems.

Samples can be characterised by heating to within a few degrees of the required temperature at a rate of up to 150 °C/min, then slowed down to a few tenths of a degree per minute to closely examine sample changes.

Jeremy Van Derslice, Applications Engineer at J.A. Woollam said: “The strength of combining the expertise from each company provides thin film researchers with personalised temperature-controlled ellipsometers. Integrating ellipsometers with Linkam’s HFSEL600 heating stage, for highly precise and accurate temperature control, provides the ideal instrumentation to characterise versatile materials. Researchers can test their materials in new ways and ensure the thickness and optical properties of their films are appropriate for their application.”

Duncan Stacey, Linkam’s Sales and Marketing Director, said: “As with many of our collaborations, the initial discussion with J.A. Woollam was around our standard product. It soon became clear that due to the flexible nature of J. A. Woollam’s ellipsometry systems, we could offer a much more suitable solution for the customer by developing a customised instrument."