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Birefringence measurement in complex optical systems
Author(s): Holger Knell; Hans-Martin Heuck
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Paper Abstract

State of the art optical systems become more complex. There are more lenses required in the optical design and optical coatings have more layers. These complex designs are prone to induce more thermal stress into the optical system which causes birefringence. In addition, there is a certain degree of freedom required to meet optical specifications during the assembly process. The mechanical fixation of these degrees of freedom can also lead to mechanical stress in the optical system and therefore to birefringence. To be able to distinguish those two types of stress a method to image the birefringence in the optical system is required. In the proposed setup light is polarized by a circular polarization filter and then is transmitted through a rotatable linear retarder and the tested optical system. The light then is reflected on the same path by a mirror. After the light passes the circular polarization filter on the way back, the intensity is recorded. When the rotatable retarder is rotated, the recorded intensity is modulated depending on the birefringence of the tested optical system. This modulation can be analyzed in Fourier domain and the linear retardance angle between the slow and the fast axis as well as the angle of the fast axis can be calculated. The retardance distribution over the pupil of the optical system then can be analyzed using Zernike decomposition. From the Zernike decomposition, the origin of the birefringence can be identified. Since it is required to quantify small amounts of retardance well below 10nm, the birefringence of the measurement system must be characterized before the measurement and considered in the calculation of the resulting birefringence. Temperature change of the measurement system still can produce measurement artifacts in the calculated result, which must also be compensated for.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 June 2017
PDF: 18 pages
Proc. SPIE 10329, Optical Measurement Systems for Industrial Inspection X, 103291F (26 June 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2270194
Show Author Affiliations
Holger Knell, Leica Microsystems GmbH (Germany)
Hans-Martin Heuck, Leica Microsystems GmbH (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10329:
Optical Measurement Systems for Industrial Inspection X
Peter Lehmann; Wolfgang Osten; Armando Albertazzi Gonçalves, Editor(s)

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