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Ion implantation damage in silicon has been studied utilizing a new optical technique (differential reflectometry). It has been demonstrated that differential reflectometry can be used to identify whether an implanted layer is crystalline, damaged crystalline, or amorphous. The intensity of interband transitions can be used to determine the thickness of a damaged crystalline layer over a submerged amorphous layer. Interference effects were utilized to determine the thickness of an amorphous layer. Thus, differential optical reflectance has far‐reaching potential for characterizing implanted substrates.