An optical-feedback semiconductor laser Michelson interferometer (OSMI) is presented for measuring microscopic linear displacements without ambiguity in the direction of motion. The two waves from the interferometer arms, one from the reference mirror and the other from the reflecting moving target, are fed back into the lasing medium (λ = 830 nm), causing variations in the laser output power. We model the OSMI into an equivalent Fabry–Perot resonator and derive the dependence of the output power (and the junction voltage) on the path difference between the two interferometer arms. Numerical and experimental results consistently show that the laser output power varies periodically (period, λ/2) with path difference. The output power variation exhibits an asymmetric behavior with the direction of motion, which is used to measure, at subwavelength resolution, the displacement vector (both amplitude and direction) of the moving sample. Two samples are considered in the experiments: (i) a piezoelectric transducer and (ii) an audio speaker.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
(120.3180) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Interferometry
(120.7250) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Velocimetry
(120.7280) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Vibration analysis
(140.5960) Lasers and laser optics : Semiconductor lasers
Peter John Rodrigo, May Lim, and Caesar Saloma, "Optical-Feedback Semiconductor Laser Michelson interferometer for displacement measurements with directional discrimination," Appl. Opt. 40, 506-513 (2001)