White-light interferometry is a standard optical tool with which to measure profiles of discontinuous structures such as diffractive optical elements. But there is one outstanding technological problem: The interferometers have to be symmetric; i.e., the geometrical path lengths in glass have to be the same for both interferometer arms. If these paths in glass are not equal within the field of view, a dispersion error will occur that is rather complicated to compensate for. The error appears in the measured profile in the form of steps of λ/2 in height. A simulation of interferograms disturbed by dispersion deviations is presented, and an algorithm is introduced that eliminates the steps without changing the actual phase information or averaging neighboring pixels. The results are shown with simulated and real data.
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