Disclosed is a system for the characterization of thin films and interfaces between thin films through measurements of their mechanical and thermal properties. In the system light is absorbed in a thin film or in a structure made up of several thin films, and the change in optical transmission or reflection is measured and analyzed. The change in reflection or transmission is used to give information about the ultrasonic waves that are produced in the structure. The information that is obtained from the use of the measurement methods and apparatus of this invention can include: (a) a determination of the thickness of thin films with a speed and accuracy that is improved compared to earlier methods; (b) a determination of the thermal, elastic, and optical properties of thin films; (c) a determination of the stress in thin films; and (d) a characterization of the properties of interfaces, including the presence of roughness and defects.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT RIGHTS
This invention was made with government support under grant/contract number DEFG02-ER45267 awarded by the Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.