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Proceedings Paper

Optical scatter: an overview
Author(s): John C. Stover
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Paper Abstract

Optical scatter is a bothersome source of optical noise, limits resolution and reduces system throughput. However, it is also an extremely sensitive metrology tool. It is employed in a wide variety of applications in the optics industry (where direct scatter measurement is of concern) and is becoming a popular indirect measurement in other industries where its measurement in some form is an indicator of another component property - like roughness, contamination or position. This paper presents a brief review of the current state of this technology as it emerges from university and government laboratories into more general industry use. The bidirectional scatter distribution function (or BSDF) has become the common format for expressing scatter data and is now used almost universally. Measurements made at dozens of laboratories around the country cover the spectrum from the uv to the mid- IR. Data analysis of optical component scatter has progressed to the point where a variety of analysis tools are becoming available for discriminating between the various sources of scatter. Work has progressed on the analysis of rough surface scatter and the application of these techniques to some challenging problems outside the optical industry. Scatter metrology is acquiring standards and formal test procedures. The available scatter data base is rapidly expanding as the number and sophistication of measurement facilities increases. Scatter from contaminants is continuing to be a major area of work as scatterometers appear in vacuum chambers at various laboratories across the country. Another area of research driven by space applications is understanding the non-topographic sources of mid-IR scatter that are associated with Beryllium and other materials. The current flurry of work in this growing area of metrology can be expected to continue for several more years and to further expand to applications in other industries.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 December 1991
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 1530, Optical Scatter: Applications, Measurement, and Theory, (1 December 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.50490
Show Author Affiliations
John C. Stover, TMA Technologies, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1530:
Optical Scatter: Applications, Measurement, and Theory
John C. Stover, Editor(s)

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