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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 48, Iss. 5 — Feb. 10, 2009
  • pp: 868–880

Experimental evaluation of achromatic phase shifters for mid-infrared starlight suppression

Robert O. Gappinger, Rosemary T. Diaz, Alexander Ksendzov, Peter R. Lawson, Oliver P. Lay, Kurt M. Liewer, Frank M. Loya, Stefan R. Martin, Eugene Serabyn, and James K. Wallace  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 48, Issue 5, pp. 868-880 (2009)

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Phase shifters are a key component of nulling interferometry, one of the potential routes to enabling the measurement of faint exoplanet spectra. Here, three different achromatic phase shifters are evaluated experimentally in the mid-infrared, where such nulling interferometers may someday operate. The methods evaluated include the use of dispersive glasses, a through-focus field inversion, and field reversals on reflection from antisymmetric flat-mirror periscopes. All three approaches yielded deep, broadband, mid-infrared nulls, but the deepest broadband nulls were obtained with the periscope architecture. In the periscope system, average null depths of 4 × 10 5 were obtained with a 25% bandwidth, and 2 × 10 5 with a 20% bandwidth, at a central wavelength of 9.5 μm . The best short term nulls at 20% bandwidth were approximately 9 × 10 6 , in line with error budget predictions and the limits of the current generation of hardware.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.3180) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Interferometry
(120.4570) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Optical design of instruments
(350.1260) Other areas of optics : Astronomical optics

ToC Category:
Instrumentation, Measurement, and Metrology

Original Manuscript: September 12, 2008
Revised Manuscript: December 11, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: December 12, 2008
Published: February 2, 2009

Robert O. Gappinger, Rosemary T. Diaz, Alexander Ksendzov, Peter R. Lawson, Oliver P. Lay, Kurt M. Liewer, Frank M. Loya, Stefan R. Martin, Eugene Serabyn, and James K. Wallace, "Experimental evaluation of achromatic phase shifters for mid-infrared starlight suppression," Appl. Opt. 48, 868-880 (2009)

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