Abstract

Fizeau phase-stepping interferometry permits multiple-beam interferences to be evaluated exactly with a resolution in the subnanometer range when a special four-bucket algorithm is applied. The step width, which is set at 2π/4 for the four-bucket algorithm, has to be maintained precisely to avoid erroneous phase determination. A method is described by which deviations from the exact value of the step width can be quantitatively determined. In numerical calculations the phase dependence of the step-width error is determined and confirmed by accompanying experiments. Step-width errors recognized by the phase dependence of a difference measurement can be corrected by means of a general four-bucket algorithm. The topography of Fabry–Perot plates can therefore be measured with a high degree of accuracy, of λ/200.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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