Abstract

An achromatic phase shifter with a rotating half-wave plate (HWP) used at the input and output of the low coherence interference microscopy is presented. This novel achromatic phase-shifter configuration is first investigated, and then its performances are compared with those of traditional phase shifters theoretically by means of Jones matrices. It is evident that the achromatism and the variation of the amplitude ratio of the proposed achromatic phase-shifter configuration is much better than other traditional phase-shifter configurations, and it can provide a phase shift of eight times the rotation angle of the HWP, which is the largest magnification achieved by far. A low coherence interference microscopy system based on the proposed achromatic phase-shifter configuration is also established to confirm the eight times relation between phase-shift and rotation angle of the HWP experimentally. At last, the three- dimensional profile and the groove depth of a step height calibration standard are obtained by using the traditional four-step algorithm to illustrate the capability and the accuracy of the low coherence interference microscopy system based on the proposed achromatic phase-shifter configuration.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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