Methodology and selected applications of magneto-optical (MO) spectroscopic scatterometry (MOSS) are presented on various types of magnetic gratings made by lithographic patterning. Three types of theoretical models with different levels of accuracy are described in detail: a rigorous one, an analytical approximation, and a model mostly appropriate for real structures affected by line-edge roughness (LER). The MOSS approach, based on explaining diffracted MO Kerr effect measurements by simulations employing the mentioned models, is demonstrated as a technique highly sensitive to nanoscale features such as native oxide overlayers, as well as capable of determining the LER characteristic quantitatively. Further possibilities to study unsaturated magnetic structures and compositions of magnetic materials including imperfect deposition or aging processes are suggested.
2006 by The Magnetics Society of Japan