2π ambiguity-free optical distance measurement with subnanometer precision with a novel phase-crossing low-coherence interferometer

Published

Journal Article

We report a highly accurate phase-based technique for measuring arbitrarily long optical distance with sub-nanometer precision. The method employs a Michelson interferometer with a pair of harmonically related light sources, one cw and the other low coherence. By slightly detuning (∼2 nm) the center wavelength of the low-coherence source between scans of the target sample, we can use the phase relationship between the heterodyne signals of the cw and the low-coherence light to measure the separation between reflecting interfaces with subnanometer precision. As this technique is completely free of 2π ambiguity, an issue that plagues most phase-based techniques, it can be used to measure arbitrarily long optical distances without loss of precision. We demonstrate one application of this technique, the high-precision determination of the differential refractive index. © 2002 Optical Society of America.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Yang, C; Wax, A; Dasari, RR; Feld, MS

Published Date

  • January 15, 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 27 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 77 - 79

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0146-9592

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1364/OL.27.000077

Citation Source

  • Scopus