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Multi-contrast Light Profile Microscopy for the Depth-Resolved Imaging of the Properties of Multi-ply Thin Films

Volume 63, Number 6 (June 2009) Page 642-661

Power, J.F.


Light profile microscopy (LPM) is a direct method for the spectral depth imaging of thin film cross-sections on the micrometer scale. LPM uses a perpendicular viewing configuration that directly images a source beam propagated through a thin film. Images are formed in dark field contrast, which is highly sensitive to subtle interfacial structures that are invisible to reference methods. The independent focusing of illumination and imaging systems allows multiple registered optical sources to be hosted on a single platform. These features make LPM a powerful multi-contrast (MC) imaging technique, demonstrated in this work with six modes of imaging in a single instrument, based on (1) broad-band elastic scatter; (2) laser excited wideband luminescence; (3) coherent elastic scatter; (4) Raman scatter (three channels with RGB illumination); (5) wavelength resolved luminescence; and (6) spectral broadband scatter, resolved in immediate succession. MC-LPM integrates Raman images with a wider optical and morphological picture of the sample than prior art microprobes. Currently, MC-LPM resolves images at an effective spectral resolution better than 9 cm−1, at a spatial resolution approaching 1 μm, with optics that operate in air at half the maximum numerical aperture of the prior art microprobes.