We demonstrate that the sensitivity of nanoparticle detection on surfaces can be substantially improved by implementing synthetic optical holography (SOH) in coherent Fourier scatterometry (CFS), resulting in a phase-sensitive confocal differential detection technique that operates at very low power level (P=0.016 mW). The improvement in sensitivity is due to two reasons: first, the boost in the signal at the detector due to the added reference beam; and second, the reduction of background noise caused by the electronics. With this new system, we are able to detect a 60-nm polystyrene latex (PSL) particle at a wavelength of 633 nm (∼λl/10) on a silicon wafer with an improvement in the signalto- noise ratio (SNR) of approximately 4 dB. c 2022 Optica Publishing Group
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