Infrared spectroscopic ellipsometry (IRSE), reflection absorption IR spectroscopy (RAIRS), IR transmission spectroscopy, and best-fit calculations are applied in a cooperative study to determine the anisotropic optical properties of a thin polyimide layer in the spectral range 4000-500 cm<sup>-1</sup>. The employed anisotropic uniaxial optical layer model afforded very good agreement between the calculated and the experimental spectra obtained by the different complementary IR methods. The main advantage of IRSE is that it is possible to obtain data for the optical constants and the thickness (<i>d</i> = 1.81 μm) of the polyimide layer simultaneously within one experiment. From the ellipsometric spectra it was concluded that the layer structure can be regarded as possessing uniaxial symmetry where the layer is isotropic in directions (x, y) parallel to the sample surface. A qualitative determination of the anisotropic parameters of vibrational bands is possible by calculation of the ellipsometric spectra. The evaluation procedure can be improved by evaluation of polarized reflection spectra, provided the reference standard has been calibrated by ellipsometry. The oscillator parameters are then derived more accurately from the separate <i>s</i>- and <i>p</i>-polarized reflection spectra rather than from their ratio, which is measured in ellipsometry.

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