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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 37, Iss. 29 — Oct. 10, 1998
  • pp: 6892–6905

Microinterferometry: three-dimensional reconstruction of surface microtopography for thin-film and wetting studies by reflection interference contrast microscopy (RICM)

Gerald Wiegand, Klaus R. Neumaier, and Erich Sackmann  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 37, Issue 29, pp. 6892-6905 (1998)

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We present an improved theory of image formation by reflection interference contrast microscopy (RICM) for structural studies of stratified films on planar substrates and propose a new theoretical approach to analyzing the surface profile of nonplanar films. We demonstrate the validity of the new approach by analyzing the fringe patterns of RICM images from wedge-shaped liquid films and spherical probes. By simulation of various scenarios, we study the effect of finite-aperture illumination and the shape of the nonplanar interface on the interference fringe pattern of RICM images. We show how the reconstruction of the microscopic topography of the sample from the fringe spacing is corrected by angular and curvature correction terms. We discuss the variation of the mean intensity of the fringe patterns and the decay in the fringe amplitude with increasing fringe order that is caused by nonplanar interfaces of different slope.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(070.5010) Fourier optics and signal processing : Pattern recognition
(080.2720) Geometric optics : Mathematical methods (general)
(100.2650) Image processing : Fringe analysis
(100.3010) Image processing : Image reconstruction techniques
(100.6890) Image processing : Three-dimensional image processing
(180.3170) Microscopy : Interference microscopy

Original Manuscript: January 21, 1998
Revised Manuscript: June 29, 1998
Published: October 10, 1998

Gerald Wiegand, Klaus R. Neumaier, and Erich Sackmann, "Microinterferometry: three-dimensional reconstruction of surface microtopography for thin-film and wetting studies by reflection interference contrast microscopy (RICM)," Appl. Opt. 37, 6892-6905 (1998)

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