Abstract

We present a technique for the measurement of surface form error of an optical surface using a ring source and polarization phase-shifting interferometry (PPSI). The ring source, generated using a refracting axicon, is projected onto a rotating diffuser to reduce the spatial coherence noise generated by the spatially coherent He–Ne laser and to enhance the interference fringe contrast. PPSI is applied to extract the phase [and hence the optical path difference (OPD)] from the interference fringes formed by a Fizeau cavity using the ring source. The OPD values are least-square fitted to a plane and the surface form errors are evaluated from the deviations of the OPD values from the fitted reference plane. A two-step subtraction method to reduce the system errors and the effect of the ring source diameter on the effective measurement area of the test surface are discussed. The main advantage of the technique is that the perturbations in the Fizeau cavity are negligible during the phase shifts as the phase shifts between the interfering beams are introduced outside the cavity.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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