Abstract

Optical profilometry is widely applied for measuring the morphology of objects by projecting predetermined patterns on them. In this technique, the compact size is one of the interesting issues for practical applications. The generation of pattern by the interference of coherent light sources has a potential to reduce the dimension of the illumination part. Moreover, this method can make fine patterns without projection optics, and the illumination part is free of restriction from the numerical aperture of the projection optics. In this paper, a phase-shifting profilometry is implemented by using a single liquid crystal (LC) cell. The LC phase modulator is designed to generate the interference patterns with several different spatial frequencies by changing selection of the spacing between the micro-pinholes. We manufactured the LC phase modulator and calibrated it by measuring the phase modulation amount depending on an applied voltage. Our optical profilometry using the single LC cell can generate multi-spatial frequency patterns as well as four steps of the phase-shifted patterns. This method can be implemented compactly, and the reconstructed depth profile is obtained without a phase-unwrapping algorithm.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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