Industry News: J.A. Woollam collaborates with Linkam Scientific to bring precise temperature control to its ellipsometry instruments

The collaboration aims to provide thin film researchers with tailor-made temperature controlled ellipsometers for a broad set of applications

23 Oct 2020

Worldwide leader in spectroscopic ellipsometry, J. A. Woollam, has worked closely with Linkam Scientific to bring precise temperature control to its custom ellipsometry instruments. Through the adaptation of Linkam Scientific’s market-leading heat stages, the collaboration has provided thin film researchers with tailor-made temperature-controlled ellipsometers for a broad set of applications.

Both ellipsometry and thermal analysis are fundamental characterization tools in the study of thin-film materials. There are many applications where it becomes critically necessary to measure optical properties at different temperatures in real-time, from bio-coatings and hydrogels for contact lenses to transparent electronics and medical devices. Temperature-controlled ellipsometry is a powerful tool, enabling the characterization of a range of properties, such as thermal expansion coefficients, which can be determined by monitoring changes in thickness versus temperature.

Linkam Scientific has modified the HFS600, one of its most widely used heating stages, with a special optical adapter to facilitate use on an ellipsometer. This adapted temperature controller, now known as the HFSEL600, allows temperature-dependent ellipsometry measurements with all J. A. Woollam systems over a wide temperature range. Samples can be quickly characterized by heating to within a few degrees of the required temperature at a rate of up to 150°C/min, then slowed down to a few tenths of a degree per minute to closely examine sample changes.

Jeremy Van Derslice, Applications Engineer at J.A. Woollam comments on the value of this partnership: “The strength of combining the expertise from each company provides thin-film researchers with personalized temperature-controlled ellipsometers. Integrating ellipsometers with Linkam’s HFSEL600 heating stage, for highly precise and accurate temperature control, provides the ideal instrumentation to characterize versatile materials. Researchers can test their materials in new ways and ensure the thickness and optical properties of their films are appropriate for their application.”

Duncan Stacey, Linkam’s Sales and Marketing Director, comments: “As with many of our collaborations, the initial discussion with J.A. Woollam was around our standard product. It soon became clear that due to the flexible nature of J. A. Woollam’s ellipsometry systems, we could offer a much more suitable solution for the customer by developing a customized instrument.

We brought our R&D teams together, and even though working on different sides of the Atlantic, we were quickly able to develop a product that fully met their needs. Both companies pride themselves on providing high performance and quality solutions to their customers. This has made the collaboration particularly easy and fruitful.” 

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