A new tool with which to monitor the quality (roughness and subsurface damage) of optical surfaces during grinding and polishing, intensity-detecting total internal reflection microscopy (iTIRM), is presented. A general description of the new measurement method is given, followed by a description of the experimental in situ measurement setup. Experimental results of the method are presented that demonstrate that iTIRM can be used either to control the roughness-reduction process during production or to investigate the process itself. The possibility of implementing the method in an optical workshop is discussed.
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