Real-time in situ Mueller matrix ellipsometry of GaSb nanopillars: observation of anisotropic local alignment
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionOptics Express. 2011, 19 (13), 12551-12561. 10.1364/OE.19.012551
The formation of GaSb nanopillars by low energy ion sputtering is studied in real-time by spectroscopic Mueller matrix ellipsometry, from the initial formation in the smooth substrate until nanopillars with a height of 200 – 300 nm are formed. As the nanopillar height increased above 100 nm, coupling between orthogonal polarization modes was observed. Ex situ angle resolved Mueller polarimetry measurements revealed a 180° azimuth rotation symmetry in the off-diagonal Mueller elements, which can be explained by a biaxial material with different dielectric functions εx and εy in a plane parallel to the substrate. This polarization coupling can be caused by a tendency for local direction dependent alignment of the pillars, and such a tendency is confirmed by scanning electron microscopy. Such observations have not been made for GaSb nanopillars shorter than 100 nm, which have optical properties that can be modeled as a uniaxial effective medium.