A novel laser sensor for position measurements of technical solid-state surfaces is proposed. An external Fabry-Perot laser cavity is assembled by use of an antireflection-coated laser diode together with the technical surface. Mode locking results from pumping the laser diode synchronously to the mode spacing of the cavity. The laser cavity length, i.e., the distance to the measurement object, is determined by evaluation of the modulation transfer function of the cavity by means of a phase-locked loop. The mode-locking external-cavity laser sensor incorporates a resonance effect that results in highly resolving position and displacement measurements. More than a factor-of-10 higher resolution than with conventional nonresonant sensing principles is achieved. Results of the displacement measurements of various technical surfaces are reported. Experimental and theoretical investigations are in good agreement.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
(120.0120) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology
(120.3180) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Interferometry
(120.3940) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Metrology
(140.4050) Lasers and laser optics : Mode-locked lasers
Jürgen Czarske, Jasper Möbius, and Karsten Moldenhauer, "Mode-locking external-cavity laser-diode sensor for displacement measurements of technical surfaces," Appl. Opt. 44, 5180-5189 (2005)