OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: James C. Wyant
  • Vol. 45, Iss. 22 — Aug. 1, 2006
  • pp: 5607–5613

Phase-stepped gauge block interferometry using a frequency-tunable visible laser diode

Michael O'Hora, Brian Bowe, and Vincent Toal  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 45, Issue 22, pp. 5607-5613 (2006)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (371 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Frequency changes induced by bias or temperature modulation of injection diode lasers can provide an economical and effective method of applying phase-stepping interferometry to optical metrology. However, the intrinsic frequency instability of these devices limits their use in gauge block interferometry where precise and repeatable phase steps must be maintained simultaneously on two discontinuous surfaces and over relatively long path lengths. We demonstrate a method using a visible injection diode laser, the frequency of which is locked by using a Fabry–Perot interferometer. Small changes to the length of the Fabry–Perot interferometer shift the frequency of the laser producing proportional and repeatable phase steps to the gauge block interferogram. This method has been successfully implemented with a Fizeau-type gauge block interferometer with a phase measurement resolution of 0.005 λ . The phase data are then processed to map the surface form of gauge blocks up to 100   mm in length and to objectively assess surface shape parameters.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.3930) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Metrological instrumentation
(120.5050) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Phase measurement
(120.6650) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Surface measurements, figure
(140.2020) Lasers and laser optics : Diode lasers

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: September 20, 2005
Manuscript Accepted: December 19, 2005

Michael O'Hora, Brian Bowe, and Vincent Toal, "Phase-stepped gauge block interferometry using a frequency-tunable visible laser diode," Appl. Opt. 45, 5607-5613 (2006)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. ISO3650: Geometrical Product Specifications-Length Standards-Gauge Blocks (International Standards Organization, Geneva, 1999).
  2. Bureau International des Poids et Mesures, "Documents concerning the new definition of the metre," Metrologia 19,163-177, (1984).
  3. T. J. Quinn, "Practical realisation of the definition of the metre, including recommended radiations of other optical frequency standards (2001)," Metrologia 40, 103-133 (2003). [CrossRef]
  4. K. P. Birch and M. J. Downs, "Correction to the updated Edlén equation for the refractive index of air," Metrologia 31, 315-316 (1994). [CrossRef]
  5. K. G. Birch, Uncertainties in the Measurement of Gauge Blocks by Interferometry, Technical Rep. MOM 29 (National Physical Laboratory, London, 1978).
  6. J. E. Decker and J. R. Pekelsky, "Uncertainty evaluation for the measurement of gauge blocks by optical interferometry," Metrologia 34, 479-493 (1997). [CrossRef]
  7. A. J. Lewis, "Measurement of length, surface form and thermal expansion coefficient of length bars up to 1.5 m using multiple wavelength phase-stepping interferometry," Meas. Sci. Technol. 5, 694-703 (1994). [CrossRef]
  8. J. E. Decker, R. Schödel, and G. Bönsch, "Considerations for the evaluation of measurement uncertainty in interferometric gauge block calibration applying methods of phase step interferometry," Metrologia 41, L11-L17 (2004). [CrossRef]
  9. B. E. A. Saleh and M. C. Teich, Fundamentals of Photonics (Wiley, 1991). [CrossRef]
  10. S. Kaiser, T. Maier, A. Grossmann, and C. Zimmermann, "Fizeau interferometer for phase shifting interferometry in ultra-high vacuum," Rev. Sci. Instrum 72, 3726-3327 (2001). [CrossRef]
  11. P. de Groot, "Measurement of transparent plates with wavelength-tuned phase-shifting interferometry," Appl. Opt. 39, 2658-2663 (2000). [CrossRef]
  12. Y. Ishii, "Wavelength-tunable laser diode interferometer," Opt. Rev. 6, 273-283 (1999). [CrossRef]
  13. P. S. Fairman, B. K. Ward, B. F. Oreb, D. I. Farrant, Y. Gilliand , C. H. Freund, A. J. Leistner, J. A. Seckold, and C. J. Walsh, "300-mm-aperture phase-shifting Fizeau interfer ometer," Opt. Eng. 38, 1371-1380 (1999). [CrossRef]
  14. Y. C. Chung, "Frequency-locked 1.3-μ-m and 1.5-μ-m semiconductor-lasers for lightwave systems applications," J. Lightwave Technol. 8, 869-876 (1990). [CrossRef]
  15. C. S. Edwards, G. P. Barwood, P. Gill, and W. R. C. Rowley, "Absolute frequency stabilisation of a 637 nm laser diode using Doppler free I2 spectra," Electron. Lett. 31, 796-797 (1995). [CrossRef]
  16. S. P. Poole and J. H. Dowell, "Application of interferometry to the routine measurement of block gauges," in Optics in Metrology (Pergamon, 1958), pp. 405-419.
  17. M. O'Hora, S. Peyton, B. Bowe, and V. Toal, "Modernisation of a Hilger & Watts gauge block interferometer," Opt. Eng. 44, 035601 (2005). [CrossRef]
  18. M. Born and E. Wolf, Principles of Optics, 7th ed. (Cambridge U. Press, 2002).
  19. G. Bönsch and H. Böhme, "Phase-determination of Fizeau interferences by phase-shifting interferometry," Optik 82, 161-164 (1989).
  20. K. G. Larkin and B. F. Oreb, "Design and assessment of symmetrical phase-shifting algorithms," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 9, 1740-1748 (1992). [CrossRef]
  21. K. Hibino, B. F. Oreb, D. I. Farrant, and K. G. Larkin, "Phase-shifting algorithms for nonlinear and spatially nonuniform phase shifts," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 14, 918-930 (1997). [CrossRef]
  22. Y. Surrel, "Phase-shifting algorithms for nonlinear and spatially nonuniform phase shifts: comment," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 15, 805-807 (1998). [CrossRef]
  23. K. Hibino, "Error-compensating phase measuring algorithms in a Fizeau interferometer," Opt. Rev. 6, 529-538 (1999). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3
Fig. 4

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited