Abstract

A robust one-beam interferometer with external phase-delay control is described. The device resembles a Mach–Zehnder interferometer in which the two arms are together in one collimated beam. However, the proposed device is not an amplitude-division interferometer but a wave-front division one. The phase-delay control occurs at the interferometer output with the help of two polarizing beam splitters, a quarter-wave plate, a Faraday rotator, and a polarizer. An additional phase delay is introduced by application of an electrical current to the Faraday rotator or by rotation of the polarizer (the latter is of topological origin), which permits the use of techniques of phase-stepping interferometry.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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