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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Editor: Stephen A. Burns
  • Vol. 26, Iss. 3 — Mar. 1, 2009
  • pp: 540–547

Optical diffractometry

M. Taghi Tavassoly, Mohammad Amiri, Ahmad Darudi, Rasoul Aalipour, Ahad Saber, and Ali-Reza Moradi  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 26, Issue 3, pp. 540-547 (2009)

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Interference of light has numerous metrological applications because the optical path difference (OPD) can be varied at will between the interfering waves in the interferometers. We show how one can desirably change the optical path difference in diffraction. This leads to many novel and interesting metrological applications including high-precision measurements of displacement, phase change, refractive index profile, temperature gradient, diffusion coefficient, and coherence parameters, to name only a few. The subject fundamentally differs from interferometry in the sense that in the latter the measurement criterion is the change in intensity or fringe location, while in the former the criterion is the change in the visibility of fringes with an already known intensity profile. The visibility can vary from zero to one as the OPD changes by a half-wave. Therefore, measurements with the accuracy of a few nanometers are quite feasible. Also, the possibility of changing the OPD in diffraction allows us to use Fresnel diffraction in Fourier spectrometry, to enhance or suppress diffracted fields, and to build phase singularities that have many novel and useful applications.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(030.1640) Coherence and statistical optics : Coherence
(120.3930) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Metrological instrumentation
(120.5050) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Phase measurement
(120.6780) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Temperature
(260.1960) Physical optics : Diffraction theory
(260.6042) Physical optics : Singular optics

ToC Category:
Physical Optics

Original Manuscript: September 30, 2008
Revised Manuscript: December 15, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: December 16, 2008
Published: February 17, 2009

M. Taghi Tavassoly, Mohammad Amiri, Ahmad Darudi, Rasoul Aalipour, Ahad Saber, and Ali-Reza Moradi, "Optical diffractometry," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 26, 540-547 (2009)

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