Abstract

A modal phase-reconstruction method for wave-front analysis in lateral shearing interferometry is presented. Pseudo-Zernike polynomial functions describe the differential wave fronts and are related to a Zernike polynomial description of the original wave front. We show that this reconstruction is robust for shear ratios in the range 0.15–0.50. The error propagation properties of this differential Zernike polynomial matrix-inversion method are discussed on the basis of both analysis and simulation. It is concluded that the method allows wave-front analysis with an absolute inaccuracy of 2 mλ rms for diffraction-limited wave fronts and with 1% relative inaccuracy for more strongly aberrated wave fronts.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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