The phenomenon of Talbot self-image shift by changing the wavelength of the illuminating light is described and demonstrated experimentally. A periodic grating is illuminated by light with wavelengths and generated by two lasers, and the Talbot self-images are recorded along the longitudinal direction at individual wavelengths. The Talbot self-image shift due to the change in the wavelength of light is implemented for the measurement of the three-dimensional step height of a large discontinuous object without any phase ambiguity problem. Fourier-transform fringe analysis was used to determine the maximum contrast of the high-visibility bands for the measurement of the step height of the object. The main advantages of the proposed system are nonmechanical scanning, high stability because of its common path geometry, compactness, and a wide range of measurement as compared to interferometric three- dimensional profilers.
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