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Comparison of Michelson and Linnik interference microscopes with

respect to measurement capabilities and adjustment efforts

Peter Khnhold, Weichang Xie, Peter Lehmann


Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Chair in Measurement Technology
University of Kassel, Wilhelmshher Allee 71, 34109 Kassel, Germany

ABSTRACT

Scanning white-light interferometry (SWLI) provides the capability of fast and high-precision three-dimensional
measurement of surface topography. Nevertheless, it is well-known that white-light interferometers more than imaging
microscopes suffer from chromatic aberration caused by the influence of dispersion. In this paper several interferometric
measurement systems are used for surface topography measurement. A Linnik interferometer and two Michelson
interferometers of different aberration correction are compared. A correction system designed using the ray tracing
software Zemax aims at an optimization the modulation transfer function (MTF). Although the MTF is optimized the
resulting spot diagrams are blurred due to chromatic aberration. Finally, a doubly corrected Michelson interferometer
will be presented. For this interferometer a nearly optimal MTF as well as minimized spot diagrams are achieved.

Keywords: dispersion, Michelson interferometer, Linnik interferometer, white-light interferometry, chromatic


aberration, optical profilometry, phase evaluation, modulation transfer function.

1. INTRODUCTION

Scanning white-light-interferometry (SWLI) provides the capability of fast and highly accurate 3D topography
measurement. Furthermore, SWLI shows significant benefits compared to confocal or tactile methods. In SWLI the
height resolution is independent of the size of the microscopic field of view. During measurement only a depth scan has
to be performed. Due to this SWLI has grown in importance over the last years especially in those application areas
where a certain precision is required.
To enhance the accuracy of the measurement result in addition to the evaluation of the envelope of a SWLI signal also
the phase of the interference component has to be considered. To overcome the 2 ambiguity in phase estimation the
fringe order is typically obtained from the position of the envelope.1, 2 However, the envelope position is very sensitive
to disturbing effects caused by chromatic aberration, for example.3, 4, 5 Chromatic aberration can be recognized in the
evaluation of the phase of the interference signal by height jumps of half the center wavelength of the used light source.6
Chromatic aberration in an interferometer is primarily caused by differences in the optical path length in glass between
the measuring and reference arm. This occurs especially if slightly different objective lenses or optical elements like
beam splitter cubes or plates are used.4, 6, 7. The reason for dispersion in a beam splitter cube is the imperfection of the
geometry, especially with respect to flatness, angularity and edge length.4
The resulting intensity of two interfering beams can be described by the following equation:

I ( z z 0 ) = I M + I R + I ( z z 0 ) (1)
with I as the resulting intensity, IM as the intensity of the measuring rays, IR the intensity of the reference rays and I(z-
z0) as the interference intensity. The interference term can be calculated by the following equation8:
+
I ( z z 0 ) = S ( k ) cos ( 2k ( z z ) + ) dk

0 0 (2)

Optical Measurement Systems for Industrial Inspection VIII, edited by


Peter H. Lehmann, Wolfgang Osten, Armando Albertazzi, Proc. of SPIE Vol. 8788,
87882G 2013 SPIE CCC code: 0277-786X/13/$18 doi: 10.1117/12.2020250

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p length diffference, and 0 a constannt
where S(k) is the spectral light distributiion, k the wavve number, z-zz0 the optical path
phase value. IIf the system suffers from dispersion
d thee term 2k [n(k ) n0 ]z has to
t be added too the argumen
nt of the cosinee
in Eq. (2):
+
I ( z z 0 ) = S ( k ) cos ( 2k ( z z ) + 2k n ( k ) n z + ) dk

0 0 0 (3)

withthe uncorrrected geomeetrical path leength z . In thhis Eq. (3) n(kk) is the wavee number depeendent refracttive index andd
n0 the refractiive index at thhe center waveelength. In thee simplest case a linear disp
persion formulla
n( k ) = n0 + ( k k0 ) (4)
5, 88
med, where is constant an
can be assum nd k0 is the wwavenumber at a the center wavelength.
w Compared to o the situationn
without dispeersion, i.e. n( k ) = n0 this results in a syystematic shifft of the envellope of a SWL LI signal, wheereas its phasee
nearly remainns unchangedd. However, constant
c diffeerences of thee optical pathh length show w a minor inffluence on thee
results of SWWLI measurem ments. Changees of the meaan path length h in glass in only
o one arm m of the interfferometer mayy
cause large efffects. This caan be observeed if tilted or ccurved surfaces are measurred.6, 7, 8 Due to lateral colo
or the positionn
within the fieeld view affectts the systemaatic measuremment error even n if the measuring object is ideally adjustted.7
Fig. 1a shows results of thhe evaluation of the enveloppe position an nd additionally the phase. TThe data are measured
m by a
Mirau interfeerometer on a polished silicon wafer surfa face tilted by 4.
4 Fig. 1b sho ows the same results after subtracting
s thee
tilt. Due to ddispersion a syystematic disccrepancy betw ween the resu ults of enveloppe and phase evaluation occurs.5, 8 As a
consequence,, in the centerr of the profilee obtained froom phase evaluation height jumps of halff the center wavelength
w cann
be seen.

-20 Result of

\
Envelope EvalL cation
-30
19

a
N-50-
-40

i 18.5
Result of
Phase Eval uation / Result of
Envelope Eva luation
N
I7

It! 'd'i

-s0- Re!sult of 180


100 200 300 400 500 60 0 700 81
X (t1R1)
Ph;ase Evaluation
- 0-
80
0 100 200 300 400 500 6010 700 800
x (Nm)

a) b)
Fig. 1: a) Thhe upper curve displays a proffile of a tilted m mirror-like objeect, obtained by
y envelope evaaluation, the low
wer curve
shoows the result of a combineed envelope annd phase evalu uation, where thet fringe ordeer is obtained from the
envvelopes positioon,
b) Samme result as in Fig 1a, after eliimination of tiltt.

In general, thhree different configurations


c s of SWLI insstruments for surface
s inspecction are in usee: Michelson, Mirau, andd
Linnik interfeerometers.
All of these tthree configurrations providee significant aadvantages an nd disadvantag ges. The mostt used configu uration for low
w
magnificationns is the Michhelson interferometer. Advvantages of th his type of insstrument are tthe rather simmple alignmennt
and the relatiively low effoort, since onlyy a few compponents are neecessary to bu uild an interfeerence objective based on a
microscope oobjective lenss. The disadvantage is that at a beam splitter cube has to be placeed between th he microscopee
objective andd the measurinng object or the t reference mirror, respeectively. The light l cone foccused by the objective lenss
transmits the beam splitterr cube so that different optiical path leng gths in the glaass cube resultt for differentt wavelengthss.
This is a sourrce of aberratioon if the beam
m splitter cubee is not considdered in the op
ptics design off the objectivee.
9
For magnificaations up to 50x
5 the Mirau configurationn is typically used. u Here, the
t adjustmennt is also quitee simple, sincee
the objective manufacturerr adjusts the beam
b splitter pplate exactly between
b the in
ntegrated refeerence mirror and the objecct
plane. In a M Mirau objectivve the light rays
r also travvel on non-paarallel paths th hrough paralllel glass platees, which is a

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potential sourrce of disperssion effects. However,
H this type of interfferometer willl not be studieed in this pap
per, since for a
given Mirau oobjective there are only few w possibilities of aberration correction an nd variation.
a required a Linnik Interfferometer can
If higher maggnifications are n be used. Wiith this configguration a maagnification of
100x can be reached even at high numeerical aperturees. Another advantage com mpared to the two other con nfigurations iss
the long workking distance. The disadvan ntage of this kkind of interferometer is thee high adjustm
ment effort andd the necessityy
of using two nnearly identiccal objective leenses.
In order to opptimize the im
maging perform mance of a m microscope thee modulation transfer functtion (MTF) offten representss
the most impoortant feature. We will show w in the followwing sections, that the MTF F of the opticaal imaging sysstem is not thee
right figure too evaluate thee performancee of a SWLI instrument. Furthermore,
F it will be showwn, that the insertion of ann
additional lenns between thhe beam splittter cube and the objective of a Michelsson interferom meter will cau use dispersionn
although the MTF is signiificantly impro oved. Finally,, we will prop pose a solutio
on which miniimizes dispersive effects ass
well as it optiimizes the MTTF.

22. SETUP OF
O THE IN
NTERFER
ROMETER
R AND ADJ
JUSTMENT
T EFFORT
T

In this study three interferrometer setups are investiggated. A long working distaance apochrom matic microsccope objectivee
with a magniification of 5xx, a working distance
d of 344 mm as welll as a CCD-caamera compriising 1040 x 1392 1 pixels of
4.65 m x 4..65 m pixel size are used in all three iinterferometerrs. This avoid ds effects resuulting from different opticaal
components aand makes thee results comp parable.
Fig. 2 shows the scheme of o a Linnik Interferometer. The light ray ys transmit thee beam splitter
er cube, are th
hen focused byy
two identical microscope objectives
o ontoo the surface oof the specim
men or the reference mirror, respectively. The light rayss
are reflected aand come to innterference in
n the beam spllitter cube befo
fore they propaagate towardss the CCD.

Reference miirror

Bea m splitter cul

a
Microscope objectives Spe cimcn

F
Fig. 2: Schemattic of the Linnik
k interferometeer with two iden
ntical infinity co
orrected microsscope objectives.

In Fig 3a andd 3b two differrent Michelso on configuratioons are shown n. The configu uration in Figg. 3a is called uncorrected
because this iis the standarrd configuratio on without addditional opticcal elements to compensatee for the beam m splitter cubee
underneath thhe objective, which is assumed to be ideal. In Fig. 3b the so--called singlee-lens correctted Michelsonn
interferometeer is shown. Inn this configurration the abeerrations introduced by the beam splitter cube were co ompensated byy
optimizing thhe modulation transfer functtion using a siingle plano-co onvex lens.
The adjustmeent effort for a Linnik interfferometer is siignificantly hiigher compareed to a Micheelson interfero ometer. In bothh
configurationns the correct alignment
a of the
t beam splittter cube is esssential for preecise and reliaable measurem ment results. If
the beam spliitter is slightlyy tilted with reespect to the ooptical axis, th n the measureement and the reference arm
he light rays in m
of the interfeerometer will travel on diffferent paths. The optical axis a of one arrm of the inteerferometer will
w change itss
direction and a loss of moddulation depth h in the correllogram of a siingle CCD pix xel can be obsserved. Disperrsion becomess
visible if a siinusoidal proffile is measured and the unnwrapped resu ults of the phaase evaluationn are subtractted from thosee
obtained by eenvelope evaluuation. This iss displayed in Fig. 4. The sy ystematic disccrepancy of thhe two results obtained from m
different evalluation algoriithms shows a minimum aat the x-axis position of 500 5 m. Leftt and right sided from thiss
position the difference increases symm metrically. Thhe periodicity of this diffeerence correspponds to the period of thee
original sinussoidal profile.

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Microscojpe objective

'
Microscope o bjective
Plano -c onvex lens

Reference mirrnr Bea m snlittcrcnhc n


team SPII [Her euDe
Relrenc e mirror
Z
Ipccimcn Special(

a) b)
Fig. 3: a) M
Michelson interfeerometer with uncorrected
u abeerrations due to the beam splitter cube,
b) n interferometerr using a plano--convex lens to compensate forr aberrations in
Sinngle-lens corrected Michelson ntroduced
byy the beam splittter cube.

300

200
Height difference in nm

100

-100

-200

-300
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200
x in m

Fig. 4: Differeence between sinusoidal


s profilles obtained froom the same intterference signaals either by envvelope evaluation or by phase
evaluation ccombined with unwrapping.

Compared to the Linnik coonfiguration th he Michelsonn interferometeer is rather easy to align. Inn our Michelson setup theree
is only one deegree of freeddom of adjustm ment: the refeerence mirror has to be mov ved along the optical axis until
u it reachess
the focal planne of the microoscope objectiive. A possiblle tilt of the reeference mirro or can be negleected due to th he mechanicaal
construction.
In case of a LLinnik interferrometer much more degreess of freedom of o adjustment have to be coonsidered. First of all, it hass
to be ensuredd that the optiical axes of bo oth objectivess are well aliggned. This meeans, that bothh axes should d hit the CDD-
camera at thee same positionn in the centerr of the CCD--chip. To reach h this, any tiltt of an objectivve or the beam
m splitter cubee
with respect tto the optical axis has to beb avoided. Inn addition, thee distance betw ween the beam m splitter cubbe and the twoo
objectives muust be nearly the t same. As mentioned abbove a tilt of the t beam splittter cube leadss to a tilt of th he optical axiss
and thus the light beam wiill no longer hit h the entrancce pupil of th he objective ex xactly. Furtheermore, it has to be ensuredd
that the specimmen and the reference
r mirrror are locatedd in the focal planes
p of the corresponding
c g objectives.
As a conseqquence of ann insufficient alignment oof the interferometer the modulation ddepth of the correlogramss
decreases.10 H However, eveen for perfectt alignment chhromatic aberrration and th herefore dispeersion effects occur. Thesee
effects finallyy lead to systeematic discrep
pancies betweeen a measured d surface profiile and the reaal profile. Thee discrepanciess
further increaase if additional alignment errors
e appear.

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3. MEASUREMENT RESULTS OF DIFFERENT INTERFEROMETER SETUPS
To compare the three interferometer setups a sine standard (Specimen 531 by Rubert Ltd.) which is characterized by a
period length of 100 m and amplitude of 0.5 m was measured. The sinusoidal profile shows a maximum slope angle
of 1.8, which is well below the maximum tolerable slope angle of 8 resulting from the numerical aperture of the
objective. All measurement results shown in the following sections are obtained by our own evaluation software. For 2D
profile measurements only the central line of the CCD-camera is used. Both, the envelope and the phase of the
interference signals are evaluated assuming 600 nm center wavelength of the white-light LED used as a light source. In
order to compare the difference between the results of the phase evaluation after phase unwrapping and the results of the
envelope evaluation both curves are displayed. In addition, the results of phase evaluation based on the fringe order
obtained from the evaluation of the envelopes position are shown for further comparison.

3.1 Linnik Interferometer

Fig. 5a shows the results obtained with the Linnik interferometer from the sinusoidal profile. The upper curve shows the
result of evaluating the envelopes position, the curve in the middle presents the result of the combined envelope and
phase evaluation, and the lower curve results if the profile obtained from phase evaluation is unwrapped. As it can be
seen the amplitude and the period are measured correctly. However, the curve in the middle shows some height jumps of
half the center wavelength which are related to 2 phase jumps. The number of these phase jumps increases with the
distance to the optical axis, i.e. the off-axis position in the image plane. Close to the optical axis located at x400 m in
this interferometer no phase jump occurs. To explain these phase jumps the difference between the unwrapped phase
evaluation result and the result of envelope evaluation has to be taken into consideration. This systematic error curve is
displayed in Fig. 5b. It shows a minimum at the position of 400 m, i.e. on the optical axis. The error increases
symmetrically with the distance from the optical axis. The maximum discrepancies occur at the flanks of the sinusoidal
profile. If these differences exceed 150 nm (a quarter of the wavelength) an erroneous fringe order and therefore a jump
in the result of phase evaluation will be the consequence.

2000 300

Result of envelope evaluation


1500
200
1
1000-
.g

600
looL, i 11 II .1 /I i I . 1 II h igl Li 1. i ill ki NJ]
c
N 0
.a`> 0[11i lIA AL I IMI WIN1A
. 11111
A 1

x -500 _11Vnn
V I
1
11110 ' 1 YI I. 11 1 !J

u I'
II
1 !
-1000 I I'

-1500-
Result of envelope + phase evaluation i
20000
200 400 600 800 1000 1200 200 400 600 800 1000 1200
xinm Phase evaluation with unwrapping x in m

a) b)
Fig. 5: a) Measurement results of the sine standard (Rubert 531) obtained with a Linnik interferometer: the upper curve shows
the result of envelope evaluation, the curve in the middle shows the result of combined envelope and phase
evaluation, and the lower curve shows the unwrapped result of phase evaluation,
b) Difference between the result of the phase evaluation (after unwrapping) and the result of envelope evaluation.

3.2 Uncorrected Michelson Interferometer

The curves displayed in Fig. 6a represent results obtained with the uncorrected Michelson interferometer. Again, the
upper curve corresponds to the result of envelope evaluation, the middle curve to the result of phase evaluation and the
lower curve to the result of phase evaluation after unwrapping. It is remarkable that the envelope as well as the phase
evaluation lead to a nearly perfectly reconstructed profile. The low-frequency component is really present on the used
sinusoidal standard. The curve according to Fig. 6b shows again the difference between the result of the unwrapped

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phase evaluation and the envelope evaluation. Even in this curve systematic discrepancies coming from dispersion
effects can be seen. The position of minimum discrepancy is again slightly shifted to the left side of the field of view.
The systematic difference increases with the distance from optical axis. Nevertheless, it is not sufficient to cause phase
jumps.
2000
Result of envelope evaluation
1500

1000

500
c
N 6

m
-500

-1000

-1500
Result of envelope+ phase evaluation
20000
200 400 600 800 1000 1200
x in pm Phase evaluation with unwrapping
a) b)
Fig. 6: a) Measurement results of the sine standard 531 obtained with an uncorrected Michelson interferometer according the
Fig. 3a; the upper curve shows the result of the envelope evaluation, the middle curve shows the result of phase
evaluation, and the lower curve shows the result of the phase evaluation after unwrapping,
b) Difference between the upper and the lower curve of Fig. 6a.

3.3 Corrected Michelson Interferometer

Results obtained with the single-lens corrected Michelson interferometer are displayed in Fig. 7a. Again the upper curve
shows the result of the envelope evaluation, the middle curve the result of phase evaluation and the lower curve the
unwrapped phase evaluation result. The result of phase evaluation shows significant phase jumps, beginning at a certain
distance from the optical axis. This can be explained by Fig. 7b which again displays the difference between the
unwrapped phase evaluation and the envelope evaluation curve. This difference shows a minimum at an x-axis position
of 400 m and increases continuously to the left and to the right from this position. The maximum difference is 400 nm
and leads to the high number of phase jumps if the fringe order is obtained from the envelopes position.
1500
Result of envelope evaluation 00
A A n A A A n n n A ..

104\1\i1/111/1/\/\!\11h111 200

0 500
UU UV VA VA V AiUA,UA, V 4u
I\
I\ II II A1'1111,1111111]
1.AVVVVVuvuv .4y
IIIAAARAAAAAA -200-

[VVIIVVVVVVVV\)
200 400 600 800 1000 1200
-300
200 400 600 800 1000 1200
x in m Result of envelope + phase evaluation x in m
Phase evaluation with unwrapping
a) b)
Fig. 7: a) Measurement results of the sine standard Rubert 531 obtained with a single-lens corrected Michelson interferometer
according the Fig. 3b; the upper curve shows the result of envelope evaluation, the curve in the middle the result of
phase evaluation, and the lower curve results from unwrapping,
b) Difference between the upper and the lower curve shown in Fig. 7a.

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4. RAY-TRACING SIMULATIONS

To better understand the differences between the measurement results obtained with the uncorrected and those obtained
with the single-lens corrected Michelson interferometer the optical imaging capabilities of these interferometers were
analyzed using the commercial ray-tracing software Zemax. In this study the microscope objective is assumed to work
perfectly. This means that the effects of misalignment and dispersion are more significant than the errors caused by the
apochromatic objective itself. Simulations were done at the three wavelength 486 nm, 587 nm and 636 nm the objective
is corrected for. Spot diagrams and MTFs were calculated for three positions within the field of view: the point on the
optical axis and two points 700 m apart.

4.1 Simulation of the uncorrected and corrected Michelson interferometer

Fig. 8a shows the MTF of the uncorrected Michelson interferometer. It turns out that the MTFs of the three positions
under investigation are very close together, but the MTF curves differ significantly from the upper curve which is the
ideal diffraction limited MTF. The corresponding spot diagrams are displayed in Fig. 8b. They show that on the optical
axis the spots of the red and the green wavelengths are close together, whereas the blue wavelength shows a larger spot
size. For the off-axis positions the spot diagrams are no longer symmetrical. However, the deviation of the green and the
red spot is quite small and their overall size is very similar to the on-axis spots.
Modulus of th

TS Diff. Limit TS 0.0000, -0.7000 mm 0.4861


TS 0.0000, 0.0000 mm 0.5876
TS 0.0000, 0.7000 mm 0.6563
1.0

40.00
0.9

0.8

0.7

0.6
IMA: 0.000, 0.000 mm IMA: 0.000, 0.700 mm
0.5

0.4

0.3
40 m
0.2

0.1

0.0
0 62 124 186 248 310 372 434 496 558 620
Spatial Frequency in cycles per mm
Surface: IMA IMA: 0.000, -0.700 mm
Polychromatic Diffraction MTF Spot Diagram

21.02.2013
Aberration correction 21.02.2013 Units are m.
Aberration correction
Data for 0.4861 to 0.6563 m. Field : 1 2 3
Surface: Image RMS radius : 4.479 4.653 4.653
GEO radius : 10.987 13.703 13.703
Configuration 2 of 2 Scale bar : 40 Reference : Chief Ray Configuration 2 of 2

a) b)
Fig. 8: a) MTFs of the uncorrected Michelson configuration for three positions: on the optical axis and 700 m apart,
b) Spot diagrams for 486 nm, 587 nm, and 636 nm and the same three positions within the field of view.

The results obtained for the Michelson interferometer corrected by a single plano-convex lens are displayed in Fig. 9.
Fig. 9a shows the MTF curves whereas Fig. 9b depicts the corresponding spot diagrams. Obviously, the MTF could be
significantly improved by inserting the correction lens: Compared to the situation without correction lens the resulting
MTF curves are much closer to the diffraction limited MTF now. However, the spot diagrams reveal that lateral color
becomes relevant in this configuration and this could be an indication of dispersion effects arising in context with SWLI
measurements.

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Modulus of th
TS Diff. Limit TS 0.0000, -0.7000 mm 0.4861
TS 0.0000, 0.0000 mm 0.5876
TS 0.0000, 0.7000 mm 0.6563
1.0

20.00
0.9

0.8

0.7

0.6
IMA: 0.000, 0.000 mm IMA: 0.000, 0.700 mm
0.5

0.4

0.3

20 m
0.2

0.1

0.0
0 71 142 213 284 355 426 497 568 639 710
Spatial Frequency in cycles per mm
Surface: IMA IMA: 0.000, -0.700 mm
Polychromatic Diffraction MTF Spot Diagram

21.02.2013
Aberration correction 21.02.2013 Units are m.
Aberration correction
Data for 0.4861 to 0.6563 m. Field : 1 2 3
Surface: Image RMS radius : 2.195 2.646 2.646
GEO radius : 4.858 6.479 6.479
Configuration 2 of 2 Scale bar : 20 Reference : Chief Ray Configuration 2 of 2

a) b)
Fig. 9: a) MTFs for the Michelson configuration corrected by a single lens: positions on the optical axis and 700 m apart,
b) Spot diagrams for 486 nm, 587 nm, and 636 nm and the same three positions within the field of view.

4.2 Concept of an Optimized Michelson Interferometer Configuration

Based on the previous results a so called doubly corrected Michelson interferometer is proposed. Fig. 10 shows a
schematic of the central part of this interferometer, where the microscope objective is located at the left hand side.
In this configuration again a plano-convex lens is placed between the objective lens and the beam splitter cube. The
curvature of this lens is chosen such that it agrees with the curvature of the wavefront focused onto the optical axis. In
addition, two equal plano-concave lenses are located between the beam splitter cube and the measuring object or the
reference mirror, respectively. Again the curvature of these lenses is adapted to the wavefront curvature. All lenses are
directly attached to the beam splitter cube. Consequently, the rays the objective focuses onto the optical axis transmit the
double lens / beam splitter cube configuration without being refracted at any surface.

X Z

3D Layout
Simulative construction
21.02.2013
Aberration correction

Configuration: All 2

Fig. 10: Schematic of the double-lens corrected Michelson interferometer with one plano-convex and two plano-concave lenses

Simulation results related to this interferometer are presented in Fig. 11. Fig. 11a shows the MTF for this doubly
corrected system. All MTF curves are very close to the ideal diffraction limited MTF. The spot diagrams displayed in
Fig. 11b are also very close together, although for the off-axis positions they are not circular anymore. Nevertheless, the
RMS spot radius is sufficiently close to the on-axis result.

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Modulus of th
TS Diff. Limit TS 0.0000, -0.7000 mm
TS 0.0000, 0.0000 mm
TS 0.0000, 0.7000 mm
1.0

1.00
0.9

0.8

0.7

0.6
IMA: 0.000, 0.000 mm IMA: 0.000, 0.700 mm
0.5

0.4

0.3

1 m
0.2

0.1

0.0
0 62 124 186 248 310 372 434 496 558 620
Spatial Frequency in cycles per mm
Surface: IMA IMA: 0.000, -0.700 mm
Polychromatic Diffraction MTF Spot Diagram
Simulative construction
21.02.2013
Aberration correction Simulative
21.02.2013
construction
Units are m.
Aberration correction
Data for 0.4861 to 0.6563 m. Field : 1 2 3
Surface: Image RMS radius : 0.111 0.181 0.181
GEO radius : 0.161 0.390 0.390
Configuration 1 of 2 Scale bar : 1 Reference : Chief Ray Configuration: All 2

a) b)
Fig. 11: a) MTFs for the double lens corrected Michelson setup: the MTF is independent of the off-axis position,
b) Spot diagrams for 486 nm, 587 nm, and 636 nm at three different positions within the field of view.

4.3 Discussion

Different Michelson interferometers were built up and analyzed by ray-tracing simulations. The distances between
corresponding spots of different wavelength are displayed in the lateral color diagrams in Fig. 12. Fig. 12a shows the
lateral color for the uncorrected Michelson interferometer, 12b the lateral color for the single-lens correction and 12b the
same for doubly corrected interferometer. By comparison it can be seen that lateral color error for the single-lens
corrected Michelson is at a maximum. Comparison of Fig. 12a and 12b confirms that the correction lens leads to a better
MTF but also to much higher lateral color. This leads to dispersive effects in SWLI, which are assumed to be the reason
of the phase jumps in Fig. 7a. On the other hand according to Fig. 7c lateral color could be minimized by the doubly
corrected configuration.

5. CONCLUSION
This paper investigates white-light interferometer configurations with respect to the measurement of locally tilted and
curved surface profiles, where lateral color and dispersion play an important role. Although the Linnik configuration
shows the best optical performance from the theoretical point of view it could be shown that the Michelson setup may be
advantageous in practical applications. Linnik interferometers are limited by the demanding alignment and adjustment
effort needed. In addition, perfect optical performance requires two perfectly identical objectives. This is difficult to
achieve in practice. The capabilities of a Michelson interferometer built by a microscope objective, a beam splitter cube,
and a reference mirror are studied based on experimental results obtained from a sinusoidal profile. It turns out that this
interferometer reaches a better performance compared to a Linnik setup comprising the same optical illumination and
imaging system.
Further experimental and simulation results demonstrate that solely the modulation transfer function is not suitable to
assess the performance of low-coherent interferometric profilers. In addition, lateral color should be considered since
dispersive effects lead to systematic errors in white-light interferometry. Ray-tracing analysis of the proposed doubly
corrected Michelson interferometer shows that it is possible to optimize the MTF as well as to minimize lateral color. In
future work the doubly corrected Michelson interferometer will be realized and proved.

Proc. of SPIE Vol. 8788 87882G-9

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0.4861
Maximum Field: 0.7000 Millimeters 0.5876
Airy Airy 0.6563

-3 -2.4 -1.8 -1.2 -0.6 0 0.6 1.2 1.8 2.4 3


m

0.7 m
Lateral Color

21.02.2013
Aberration correction
Data Referenced to Wavelength 0.587562 m
Real rays used.

Configuration 2 of 2

a)
0.4861 0.4861
Maximum Field: 0.7000 Millimeters 0.5876
Maximum Field: 0.7000 Millimeters 0.5876
Airy Airy 0.6563 Airy Airy 0.6563

-3 -2.4 -1.8 -1.2 -0.6 0 0.6 1.2 1.8 2.4 3 -3 -2.4 -1.8 -1.2 -0.6 0 0.6 1.2 1.8 2.4 3
m m

1.7Lateral
m Color
Aberration correction Aberr_cor
Lateral Color
0.3 m Aberration correction
21.02.2013 21.02.2013
Data Referenced to Wavelength 0.587562 m Data Referenced to Wavelength 0.587562 m
Real rays used. Real rays used.

Configuration 2 of 2 Configuration 2 of 2

b) c)
Fig. 12: a) Analysis of lateral color of the uncorrected Michelson Interferometer: the left line represents 468 nm, the middle
587 nm, and the right line 656 nm wavelength,
b) same for the single-lens corrected Michelson Interferometer and
c) same for the doubly corrected Michelson Interferometer.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The financial support of this study by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) under grant no. LE 992/7-1 is
gratefully acknowledged.

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