OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 51, Iss. 11 — Apr. 10, 2012
  • pp: 1795–1803

Lateral resolution and transfer characteristics of vertical scanning white-light interferometers

Weichang Xie, Peter Lehmann, and Jan Niehues  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 51, Issue 11, pp. 1795-1803 (2012)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (1041 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



White-light interferometers are widely used for high-accuracy topography measurement in industrial and scientific applications. A common way to characterize a white-light interferometer is to assume small surface amplitudes resulting in linear transfer characteristics described by the instrument transfer function (ITF). However, the well-known batwing effect gives rise to systematic errors, causing extra nonlinearity to the ITF. In this paper a model to simulate an interference pattern in the image plane as it is obtained by a vertical scanning white-light interferometer is introduced in order to overcome the limitation of small surface amplitudes. Repeating the simulation procedure for different height positions of the object results in an image stack that can be analyzed by the same algorithms as real measurement data. The simulation results agree with experimental observations: the batwing effect occurs in certain situations and the correct amplitude of a rectangular grating structure can be obtained as long as the structure is optically resolved. Both simulation, as well as experimental results, provide transfer characteristics of broader bandwidth than predicted by theoretical approaches based on linear system behavior.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(110.4850) Imaging systems : Optical transfer functions
(120.3180) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Interferometry
(120.6650) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Surface measurements, figure
(180.3170) Microscopy : Interference microscopy

ToC Category:
Imaging Systems

Original Manuscript: June 21, 2011
Revised Manuscript: August 15, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: August 17, 2011
Published: April 10, 2012

Weichang Xie, Peter Lehmann, and Jan Niehues, "Lateral resolution and transfer characteristics of vertical scanning white-light interferometers," Appl. Opt. 51, 1795-1803 (2012)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. R. K. Leach and H. Haitjema, “Bandwidth characteristics and comparisons of surface texture measuring instruments,” Meas. Sci. Technol. 21, 032001 (2010). [CrossRef]
  2. G. S. Kino and S. S. C. Chim, “Mirau correlation microscope,” Appl. Opt. 29, 3775–3783 (1990). [CrossRef]
  3. VDI/VDE guideline 2655, Part 1.1, “Calibration of interference microscopes and depth measurement standards for roughness measurement,” 2008.
  4. P. de Groot and X. Colonna de Lega, “Interpreting interferometric height measurements using the instrument transfer function,” in Proceedings of Fringe 2005 (2005), pp. 30–37.
  5. T. Wilson, Confocal Microscopy (Academic, 1990).
  6. T. V. Vorburger, H.-G. Rhee, T. B. Renegar, J.-F. Song, and A. Zheng, “Comparison of optical and stylus methods for measurement of surface texture,” Int. J. Adv. Manuf. Technol. 33, 110–118 (2007). [CrossRef]
  7. F. Gao, R. K. Leach, J. Petzing, and J. M. Coupland, “Surface measurment errors using commercial scanning white-light interferometers,” Meas. Sci. Technol. 19, 015303 (2008). [CrossRef]
  8. A. Harasaki and J. C. Wyant, “Fringe modulation skewing effect in white-light vertical scanning interferometry,” Appl. Opt. 39, 2101–2106 (2000). [CrossRef]
  9. A. Pförtner and J. Schwider, “Dispersion error in white-light Linnik interferometers and its implications for evaluation procedures,” Appl. Opt. 40, 6223–6228 (2001). [CrossRef]
  10. P. Lehmann, “Vertical scanning white-light interference microscopy on curved microstructures,” Opt. Lett. 35, 1768–1770 (2010). [CrossRef]
  11. P. de Groot, X. Colonna de Lega, J. Kramer, and M. Turzhitsky, “Determination of fringe order in white-light interference microscopy,” Appl. Opt. 41, 4571–4578 (2002). [CrossRef]
  12. P. Lehmann, “Systematic effects in coherence peak and phase evaluation of signals obtained with a vertical scanning white-light Mirau interferometer,” Proc. SPIE 6188, 618811 (2006). [CrossRef]
  13. J. M. Coupland and J. Lobera, “Measurement of steep surfaces using white light interferometry,” Strain 46, 69–78 (2010). [CrossRef]
  14. J. W. Goodman, Introduction to Fourier Optics, 3rd ed.(Roberts & Co., 2005).
  15. C. Kohler, U. Droste, K. Körner, and W. Osten, “Reduction of overshooting in 3-D fringe projection measurements by inverse filtering,” Tech. Mess. 73, 595–602 (2006). [CrossRef]
  16. P. Pavliček and J. Soubusta, “Measurement of the influence of dispersion on white-light interferometry,” Appl. Opt. 43, 766–770 (2004). [CrossRef]
  17. M. Fleischer, R. Windecker, and H. J. Tiziani, “Fast algorithms for data reduction in modern optical three-dimensional profile measurement systems with MMX technology,” Appl. Opt. 39, 1290–1297 (2000). [CrossRef]
  18. J. Niehues and P. Lehmann, “Improvement of lateral resolution and reduction of batwings in vertical scanning white-light interferometry,” Proc. SPIE 8082, 80820W (2011). [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.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited