Abstract

We model the interferometric radius measurement using Gaussian beam propagation to identify biases in the measurement due to using a simple geometric ray-trace model instead of the more complex Gaussian model. The radius measurement is based on using an interferometer to identify the test part's position when it is at two null locations, and the distance between the positions is an estimate of the part's radius. The null condition is observed when there is no difference in curvature between the reflected reference and the test wavefronts, and a Gaussian model will provide a first-order estimate of curvature changes due to wave propagation and therefore changes to the radius measurement. We show that the geometric ray assumption leads to radius biases (errors) that are a strong function of the test part radius and increase as the radius of the part decreases. We tested for a bias for both microscaled (<1mm) and macroscaled parts. The bias is of the order of parts in 105 for micro-optics with radii a small fraction of a millimeter and much smaller for macroscaled optics. The amount of bias depends on the interferometer configuration (numerical aperture, etc.), the nominal radius of the test part, and the distances in the interferometer.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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