A simple technique based on a Fizeau interferometer to measure the absolute phase shift on reflection for a Fabry–Perot interferometer dielectric stack mirror is described. Excellent agreement between the measured and predicted phase shift on reflection was found. Also described are the salient features of low-order Fabry–Perot interferometers and the demonstration of a near ideal low-order (1–10) Fabry–Perot interferometer through minimizing the phase dispersion on reflection of the dielectric stack. This near ideal performance of a low-order Fabry–Perot interferometer should enable several applications such as compact spectral imagers for solid and gas detection. The large free spectral range of such systems combined with an active control system will also allow simple interactive tuning of wavelength agile laser sources such as CO2 lasers, external cavity diode lasers, and optical parametric oscillators.
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