Interference microscopy makes use of optical coherence phenomena to determine form, roughness, transparent film structure, and optical properties of microscopic surface areas. Visual interferometers based on the observation of interference fringes date from the early 20th century [1], while computer automated form and roughness microscopes appeared in the 1980’s [2]. A significant advance was the invention of coherence scanning interferometry (CSI), first as a high-precision technology for semiconductor inspection [3], then as a general-purpose tool capable of viewing a large range of surface textures, including those rough enough to generate seemingly random speckle patterns [4].

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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