Talbot interferometry is used to study the surface profile of a transparent object. Periodic patterns are produced by illuminating a grating with a collimated laser beam. The object is placed on the self-image plane of the grating. The deformed grating image, which interferes with another grating, results in the Talbot interferometric fringes. The fringe pattern is recorded on a CCD camera for subsequent analysis, and the phase variation is achieved by a linear translation stage. In this application two specimens are tested to demonstrate the validity of the method; one is a transparent object with a spherical shape with a height of less than 350 µm, and the other is a transparent object with an uneven surface of 50-µm average height. The experimental results are compared with the test results obtained with the mechanical stylus method.
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