Abstract

We report a novel algorithm for the analysis of interferometric images for surface profiling. The algorithm can be used with any interferometric system in which the two interfering beams are orthogonally polarized. The algorithm is based on a measurement of the polarization state and gives a unique value for the path difference that is not subject to the ambiguities associated with fringe counting or phase unwrapping. A detector array allows the polarization state and hence the height of every pixel in the image to be determined simultaneously. The concept is easily extended to enable one to obtain the profiles of moving surfaces from a single pulse of illumination.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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