Abstract

A new method of estimating reference phase shifts in phase-shifting interferometry is proposed. The reference phase shifts are determined from a matrix that represents the interframe intensity correlation (IIC) of phase-shifted interferograms. The root-mean-square error of intensity measurement is automatically obtained from the smallest eigenvalue of the IIC matrix. The proposed method requires only four interferograms, unlike others, and can extract phase shifts reliably even from interferograms without well-defined fringes, such as speckle patterns. In typical conditions, reference phase shifts and wave-front phases can be determined with an accuracy of λ/6310 and λ/150, respectively. The validity of the method is tested by comparing it with other methods in experiments and simulations.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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