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Appl Opt. 2003 May 1;42(13):2341-5.

Angstrom-range optical path-length measurement with a high-speed scanning heterodyne optical interferometer.

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  • 1Photonic Information Processing Laboratory, The School of Optics and Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers, University of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32816-2700, USA.


A highly accurate method of optical path-length measurement is introduced by use of a scanning heterodyne optical interferometer with no moving parts. The instrument has demonstrated the potential to measure optical path length at angstrom resolution over continuous thickness in the micrometer range. This optical path length can be used to calculate the thickness of any material if the refractive index is known or to measure the refractive index of the material if the thickness is known. The instrument uses a single acousto-optic device in an in-line ultra-stable reflective geometry to implement rapid scanning in the microsecond domain for thickness measurements of the test medium.

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