Abstract

While investigating the instrumental function of a Fabry–Perot interferometer [Appl. Opt. 34, 58 (1995)], we noticed some variation in finesse and contrast in the measured spectra when a 1.5-mm-diameter aperture was used at various spots within the standard 8-mm aperture. By comparing experimentally determined finesse versus contrast plots for many such spectra with calculated plots, we found spots on the plates that gave non-Airy-function line shapes over the entire order of interference, unlike the Airy line shape we determined previously by using the entire 8-mm aperture. We have reviewed several models that describe the effects of various types of surface defects, such as Gaussian-height distribution of roughness, curvature and tilt of plates, sinusoidal roughness, and asymmetrical roughness on the finesse and contrast. Our experimental results can be accounted for if we assume that the reflectivity is nonuniform over the Fabry–Perot plates and that there is some reasonable contribution that is due to Gaussian roughness, curvature, or tilt.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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