Abstract

We compare the phase measurements of a fused-silica witness sample made with a liquid-crystal point-diffraction interferometer (LCPDI) with measurements made with a Zygo Mark IV xp phase-shifting interferometer and find close agreement. Two phase-shift-error sources in the LCPDI that contribute to measurement discrepancies are frame-to-frame intensity changes caused by the dichroism of the dye and alignment distortions of the host liquid crystal. An empirical model of the phase-shift error caused by the host alignment distortions is presented and used to investigate the performance of two different phase-detection algorithms. It is suggested that by proper choice of LCPDI fabrication parameters and phase-acquisition methods, the device’s accuracy can be significantly improved.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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