Recently, an interferometric profilometer based on the heterodyning of three Gaussian beams has been reported. This microscope interferometer, called a three Gaussian beam interferometer, has been used to profile high quality optical surfaces that exhibit constant reflectivity with high vertical resolution and lateral resolution near λ. We report the use of this interferometer to measure the profiles of two commercially available optical surfaces for data storage, namely, the compact disk (CD-R) and the digital versatile disk (DVD-R). We include experimental results from a one-dimensional radial scan of these devices without data marks. The measurements are taken by placing the devices with the polycarbonate surface facing the probe beam of the interferometer. This microscope interferometer is unique when compared with other optical measuring instruments because it uses narrowband detection, filters out undesirable noisy signals, and because the amplitude of the output voltage signal is basically proportional to the local vertical height of the surface under test, thus detecting with high sensitivity. We show that the resulting profiles, measured with this interferometer across the polycarbonate layer, provide valuable information about the track profiles, making this interferometer a suitable tool for quality control of surface storage devices.
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