Ellipsometry is the analysis of the change in the state of polarized light after it has reflected from the surface of a thin film sample. SE, as opposed to single-wavelength or laser ellipsometry, utilizes broad band light sources within the infrared, UV, and visible region. Although SE is not as adept for imaging applications, it can analyze complex multilayer films, whereas laser ellipsometry is limited to single-layer analysis.
The largest application for SE continues to be the broad semiconductor industry, in which the ability to characterize ever-smaller and more-complex architecture is critical to development and production monitoring. New technologies, such as LED lighting, solar cells, and organic electroluminescent displays are growing extremely fast, despite the muddled economy, and require SE as well.The global market for SE was worth more than $40 million in 2010, and it is expected to see strong growth in 2011. Because it is so heavily tied to the semiconductor and electronics industry, demand can be somewhat more cyclical than other spectroscopy technologies, and so is not likely to see consistent double-digit growth.
The foregoing data were based on SDi's market analysis and perspectives report entitled Global Assessment Report, 11th Edition: The Laboratory Life Science and Analytical Instrument Industry, October 2010. For more information, contact Stuart Press, Vice President – Strategic Analysis, Strategic Directions International, Inc., 6242 Westchester Parkway, Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90045, (310) 641-4982, fax: (310) 641-8851, http://www.strategic-directions.com/.