Infrared dielectric anisotropy and phonon modes of sapphire

M. Schubert, T. Tiwald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

328 Scopus citations


Spectroscopic ellipsometry in the infrared spectral range is used for comprehensive analysis of the anisotropic dielectric response of sapphire. We determine the ordinary and extraordinary infrared complex dielectric functions as well as all infrared-active phonon modes of single crystal (Formula presented) for wavelengths from 3 to 30 μm. Data were acquired from high-symmetry orientations of a-plane and c-plane surfaces cut from bulk crystals. A simple classification scheme is developed, which allows identification of the total reflection bands for p- and s-polarized light in anisotropic materials with multiple phonon branches. We employ a factorized form of the dielectric function for superior best-fit calculation of the infrared ellipsometry spectra adjusting frequencies and damping parameters of the transverse and longitudinal phonon modes with (Formula presented) and (Formula presented) symmetry separately. A generalized Lowndes condition for the damping parameters is derived and found satisfied for the (Formula presented) and (Formula presented) branches. Excellent agreement with phonon mode literature values is obtained, and improper use of selection rules reported previously for calculation of the sapphire dielectric functions is revised [Harman, Ninomiya, and Adachi, J. Appl. Phys. 76, 8032 (1994)]. The dielectric function model will become useful for infrared ellipsometry investigation of multiple-layer structures grown on (Formula presented) substrates such as group-III nitride heterostructures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8187-8201
Number of pages15
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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