Abstract

A new instrument, the liquid-crystal point-diffraction interferometer (LCPDI), is developed for the measurement of phase objects. This instrument maintains the compact, robust design of Linnik's point-diffraction interferometer and adds to it a phase-stepping capability for quantitative interferogram analysis. The result is a compact, simple to align, environmentally insensitive interferometer capable of accurately measuring optical wave fronts with very high data density and with automated data reduction. We describe the theory and design of the LCPDI. Afocus shift was measured with the LCPDI, and the results are compared with theoretical results.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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