She investigates the optical properties of materials using spectroscopic ellipsometry. With its help, she can analyse thin films and what changes occur in them as a result of changes in temperature, pressure, or the surrounding environment when they are applied and when the temperature in the vacuum chamber in which the experiments take place is changed.
The method can work with light of different wavelengths – light visible to the naked eye and also invisible, i.e. infrared or ultraviolet radiation. With a device called an ellipsometer, she measures how the polarization of light changes when it reflects off the sample of material being examined. As the ellipsometer does not measure its intensity, but its polarization, it can also analyse samples that are opaque – not transmitting light. Polarization can be circular, linear, or elliptical (hence the name ellipsometry).
It is basic research the results of which, when subsequently applied to practice, can help identify materials with ideal properties, for example in areas such as photovoltaics.