Abstract

A phase-stepped double-grating lateral shearing interferometer to be used for wave-front analysis is presented. The resulting interference patterns are analyzed with a differential Zernike polynomial matrix-inversion method. Possible error sources are analyzed in the design stage, and it is shown that the inaccuracy can be kept within 2–5 mλ rms. The apparatus was tested and evaluated in practice. Comparison with a phase-stepped Twyman–Green interferometer demonstrates that the accuracy of the two methods is comparable. Lateral shearing interferometry scores better on reproducibility, owing to the stability and robustness of the method.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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