A nondestructive measurement system based on a position sensing detector (PSD) and a laser interferometer for determining the thickness and refractive indices of birefringent optical wave plates has been developed. Unlike previous methods presented in the literature, the proposed metrology system allows the refractive index and thickness properties of the optical plate to be measured simultaneously. The experimental results obtained for the e-light and o-light refractive indices of a commercially available birefringent optical wave plate with refractive indices of and are found to be accurate to within 0.004132 and 0.000229, respectively. Furthermore, the experimentally derived value of the wave plate thickness deviates by no more than from the analytically derived value of . Overall, the experimental results confirm that the proposed metrology system provides a simple yet highly accurate means of obtaining simultaneous measurements of the refractive indices and thickness of birefringent optical wave plates.
© 2008 Optical Society of America
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