nano-TMA/TGA/DVS - Variable Temperature Ellipsometry (VTE)

Modus Operandi

The thermophysical analysis of transparent polymer films in nm-scale is realized by temperature and moisture related ellipsometry. A commercial ellipsometer (Sentech) is rigged with heating plate and a moisture chamber. A second ellipsometer is fitted with a vacuum chamber for measuring under oxygen exclusion and deep temperatures.

With ellipsometry one can measure the so-called ellipsometric angles ψ and δ and subsequently with the help of layer system describing model the relative layer mass and the fitted layer thickness (and dispersion) of the refraction index.


Apllication Range

The analysis of the thermal expansion of thin transparent layers in nm-scale (50 nm to 2 µm) on Si-wafers as a substrate is realized by:

  • determination of glass transition temperature (Tg)
  • determination of the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE)
  • kinetics of the exhaust steam of sol-components and residual sovents
  • kinetics of thermal degradation
  • kinteics of water absorption (differentiation between bulge and void filling possible)



Bauer, M.; Kahle, O.; Uhlig, C.: Nano-TMA/TGA/DVS – accelerated investigations of ageing and sorption processes at elevated temperatures, in: International Symposium on Polymeric Materials, 2004, Halle/Saale.
Kahle, O.; Gläsel; H.-J.; Uhlig, C.; Hartmann, E.; Bauer, M.: Fracture mechanical and Nano-TGA/TMA-Characterisation of nano-filled Acrylates, in: Conference Materials Week, 2004, Munich.
Kahle, O.; Uhlig, C.; Richter, U.; Gruska, B.; Bauer, M.: Applications and Accuracy of Variable Temperature Ellipsometry (VTE) in Thin Film Technologies, Poster, 3rd International Conference on Spectroscopic Ellipsometry (ICSE-3), 2003, Vienna.
Kahle, O.: Einsatzmöglichkeiten und Grenzen der temperaturvariablen Ellipsometrie zur thermophysikalischen Charakterisierung polymerer Schichten, Dissertation, BTU Cottbus, 2002.
O. Kahle; C. Uhlig; M. Bauer: VTE - A new method for characterisation of thin films properties, in: Polytronic 2001, Conf. Dig., Potsdam, 358-65.
Kahle, O.; Uhlig, C.; Bauer, M.: Application of variable - temperature ellipsometry to plasma polymers. The effect of addition of 1,7-octadiene to plasma deposits of acrylic acid, in: Chemistry of Materials, 2000, 12(4), 866-68.
Kahle, O.; Uhlig, C.; Bauer, M.: T-Ellipsometry – A New Method for the Characterisation of Thin Film Thermophysical Properties, Material Mechanics, Fracture Mechanics, Micro Mechanics, An Anniversary Volume in Honour of B. Michel’s 50th Birthday, 1999, 395-406.
Kahle, O.; Wielsch, U.; Metzner, H.; Bauer, J.; Uhlig, C.; Zawadzki, C.: Glass transition temperature and thermal expansion behaviour of polymer films investigated by variable temperature spectroscopic ellipsometry, in: Thin Solid Films, 1998, 313-314, 803-07.



The start of the method development took place in the frame of the promoted BMBF-project "Grundlagen der Haftung Polymer/Metall am Beispiel Polymer/Aluminium" (support code: FKZ 03 D 0038 A 8).