Abstract

The use of compact disc (CD) pickups in optical profilometry is a well-established practice. The instruments currently available on the market are, however, expensive both to purchase and to maintain. This expense is mainly due to the high cost of the scanning system, and it makes the use of low-cost pickups fruitless. Moreover, translation stages are bulky, slow, and in most applications neither necessary nor desirable. We present a one-dimensional profilometer, which uses a CD pickup as both the sensor and the actuator. Beam scanning of the sample is in fact performed by the objective lens tracking motor. The device is cheap, fast, compact, light, and a valuable solution for fluid and hard-to-access surface profiling.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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