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In this paper we describe a new variant of null ellipsometry to determine thicknesses and optical properties of thin films on a substrate at cryogenic temperatures. In the PCSA arrangement of ellipsometry the olarizer and the ompensator are placed before the ubstrate and the nalyzer after it. Usually, in the null ellipsometry the polarizer and the analyzer are rotated to find the searched minimum in intensity. In our variant we rotate the polarizer and the compensator instead, both being placed in the incoming beam before the substrate. Therefore the polarisation analysis of the reflected beam can be realized by an analyzer at fixed orientation. We developed this method for investigations of thin cryogenic films inside a vacuum chamber where the analyzer and detector had to be placed inside the cold shield at a temperature of ≈ 90 K close to the substrate. All other optical components were installed at the incoming beam line outside the vacuum chamber, including all components which need to be rotated during the measurements. Our null ellipsometry variant has been tested with condensed krypton films on a highly oriented pyrolytic graphite substrate (HOPG) at a temperature of ≈ 25 K. We show that it is possible to determine the indices of refraction of condensed krypton and of the HOPG substrate as well as thickness of krypton films with reasonable accuracy.


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