Spectroscopic ellipsometry analysis and nanostructure characterization of ferroelectric PZT thin films
Ferroelectric thin films are used as high dielectric constant capacitors, infrared detectors, piezoelectric transducers, optical modulators, optical waveguides, and nonvolatile memory chips for dynamic random access memory (DRAM) etc. While ferroelectric and dielectric properties of these films have been extensively investigated, their optical properties have been comparatively less studied and of limited use in quantitative evaluation of multilayer thin films. In this work we explored the variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometry (VASE) technique for its effectiveness in physical property characterization. The VASE combined with its computer modeling tool enables nondestructive, nonintrusive, and contactless optical means for optical characterization. Crystalline Lead Zirconium Titanate (PZT) thin films, fabricated on layer atop of Si substrates, were characterized using VASE (J.A. Woollam; Lincoln, NE, USA) by determining the ellipsometric parameters Ψ and Δ as a function of wavelengths (200-1000 nm) and incident angles (65 0, 700, 750) at room temperature. A physical representation of the multilayer system was constructed by a six layer model (analysis software WVASE32, J.A. Woollam) through a step-by-step method. Other physical properties characterized by several well-known techniques on structure, morphology and topographical features correspond well with the models developed using VASE alone. The technique and the methodology developed have shown promises in identifying the respective thickness and optical properties of multilayer thin film system, with limited input of processing or composition information's.