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Centro de Investigaciones en Optica, Apartado Postal 1-948, Len, Guanajuato, Mxico

alon@cio.mx

http://www.cio.mx

Abstract: The Ronchi test with a LCD amplitude sinusoidal grating is used

for testing nominally flat surfaces. We prove that it is possible to measure

flat surfaces without using a reference element by modifying the common

optical Ronchi set up. The Ronchi rulings are computer generated and

displayed on the LCD. By displaying various phase-shifted rulings and

capturing the corresponding images, the phase is obtained with the

conventional phase-shifting algorithms. Theoretical and experimental results

are shown.

2003 Optical Society of America

OCIS codes: (160.3710) Liquid crystals; (050.5080) Phase shift; (050.1950) Diffraction

gratings; (100.2650) Fringe analysis; (120.4630) Optical inspection.

___________________________________________________________________________

References and links

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

M.V.R.K. Murty, R.P. Shukla, An Oblique Incidence Interferometer, Opt. Eng. 15, 461-463 (1976).

D. Boebel, B. Packro, H.J. Tiziani, Phase shifting in an oblique incidence interferometer, Opt. Eng. 30,

1910-1914 (1991).

H. Nrge, J. Schwider, Testing of cylindrical lenses by grazing incidence interferometry, Optik 111,

545-555 (2000).

Peter de Groot, Diffractive grazing-incidence interferometer, Appl. Opt. 39, 1527-1530 (2000).

M. Mora Gonzlez and N. Alcal Ochoa, The Ronchi test with an LCD grating, Opt. Commun. 191,

203-207 (2001).

M. Mora-Gonzlez and N. Alcal Ochoa, Sinusoidal liquid crystal display grating in the Ronchi test,

Opt. Eng. 42, 1725-1729 (2003).

R. Barakat, General Diffraction Theory of Optical Aberration Tests, from the Point of View of Spatial

Filtering, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 59, 1432-1439 (1969).

J. E. Greivenkamp, J. H. Bruning, Phase Shifting Interferometry, Chapter 14 in Optical Shop Testing, D.

Malacara, Ed., pp. 548-551, Wiley, New York, (1992).

K. Hibino, D.I. Farrant, B.K. Ward, and B.F. Oreb, Dynamic range of Ronchi test with a phase-shifted

sinusoidal grating, Appl. Opt. 36, 6178-6189 (1997).

R.M. Goldstein, H.A. Zebker, and C.L. Werner, Satellite radar interferometry: two-dimensional phase

unwrapping, Radio Science, 23, 713-720 (1988).

_________________________________________________________________________

1. Introduction

Testing the flatness of surfaces generally involves the use of interferometers that have an

explicit flat reference surface. For example, a Fizeau interferometer uses a flat at least of the

same dimensions than the testing element. With a grazing incidence interferometer the area of

the reference element is reduced by a factor that depends of the grazing angle, also it is

possible to measure rough surfaces1,2,3, cylindrical lens4, etc. There are also several

configurations for making the interference5 . The basic principle of this interferometer is that

an unpolished surface becomes more reflective when the wavelength of the illuminating beam

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is increased. This reflection phenomenon is also observed when the surface under test is

illuminated with a beam that makes a large angle with the normal to the surface. In this latter

case we may speak of an equivalent wavelength. Relative to this equivalent wavelength, the

surface appears polished enough to yield interference fringes.

In 2001 we reported a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) method for testing concave mirrors6,

which in 2003 was improved with the introduction of digital sinusoidal gratings instead of

binary7. The purpose of this work is to show that with the Ronchi test it is possible the

accuracy quantitative evaluation of flat surfaces under a grazing configuration. With this

method is not necessary to make a reference beam (neither its optics) or use beam splitting

methods to generate the reference. Another advantage is that the phase shifting is done

digitally, without moving parts, just by displaying the rulings with different phases on the

LCD.

In the following sections we shall describe the Ronchi test under a grazing configuration,

we then describe the experimental set-up and also the image processing techniques that we

used to implement the digital test. Finally, in the last two sections we present the results and

the conclusions respectively.

2. Theory of the grazing Ronchi test with an LCD

Figure 1 shows a schematic drawing of the grazing Ronchi set-up. The beam of a frequency

stabilized, 4 mW, He-Ne laser is expanded by a weakly divergent lens (not shown) to fill the

aperture of a low power microscope objective (MO). The objective focuses the beam at a

spatial filter (SF), placed at the focal plane of an achromatic doublet (DB1), with a 62 mm

clear diameter. The doublet collimates the beam, which illuminates the surface under test that

is placed on top of a metal plate with a 320 mm long by 32.5 mm wide rectangular aperture.

The beam that is reflected from this surface is focused at the LCD, placed near the focal plane

of a second achromatic doublet (DB2). To image the surface under test through the doublet

DB2 a small doublet (DB3) attached to a CCD camera is used. What we needed was to image

the entire slot in the metal plate that supports the surface under test within the camera CCD

sensor.

Fig. 1 Schematic diagram of the Grazing Ronchi Device used for testing flat surfaces.

The pixelated structure of the LCD replicates the image of the surface under test on the

CCD. To eliminate this effect on the Fourier plane of DB2 only the zero order is passed by a

mask (h).

The basic idea of this method is that the plane wavefront reflected by the surface under test

is modified in phase by the surface irregularities. This phase changes modify the shape of the

fringes displayed on the LCD giving a deformed fringe pattern called a ronchigram.

Let us denote by w(x, y) the wavefront deformation caused by the surface. The wavefront

at the doublet DB2 is stretched in the x-direction by a factor 1/cos(), where is the angle of

incidence of the object beam on the surface under test respect to its normal. Let D(x,y) be the

function that accounts for the surface departures from an ideal plane. If the gradient of D(x,y)

is assumed very small throughout the entire inspection area of the surface under test, we can

use the following approximation:

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D ( x, y )

w( x, y )

2 cos( )

w( x , y )

2

eqv

(1)

eqv = cos( )

(2)

is the equivalent wavelength of the interferometer. In our case =80 , =0.6328 m and

eqv =3.6441 m. It means that the grazing Ronchi test is eqv / =5.76 times less sensitive

o

The wavefront at DB2 is represented by a complex diffracted function F0(x0, y0) which is

zero outside the limits imposed by its aperture and

F0 ( x0 , y0 ) = exp(i 2w( x0 , y 0 ) )

(3)

inside, where x0=x/cos() and y0=y are the horizontal and vertical axes, respectively, of a

right-handed rectangular coordinate system, with its origin on the optical axis.

The LCD-ruling is placed at an axial distance r from DB2, almost at its plane of

convergence. In this case the complex amplitude distribution at the ruling is given by8

F ( x , y ) exp

2

( xr x0 + y r y 0 ) dx0 dy0 ,

r

U ( xr , y r ) =

(4)

where is the illumination wavelength. At the focal plane (fc) of the collimating lens, the

observation plane, is

U (x , y

r

) M ( x r , y r ) exp i

2

( x r x1 + y r y1 ) dx r dy r

fc

G ( x1 , y1 ) =

(5)

where M(xr, yr) is the mathematical representation of the LCD-ruling, xr and yr are the

horizontal and vertical axes at the ruling position, respectively. The LCD is considered as a

rectangular array of rectangular pixels. The pixels have dimensions and spacing of ax by ay

and x by y, respectively. With the help of the sampling theorem, the function M(xr, yr) can

be written as9

xr y r

,

ax ay

comb

xr y r

,

,

x y

M ( x r , y r ) = m R ( x r , y r ) rect

(6)

with the same spacing as the pixels and mR is the mathematical continuous function

representation of the ruling to be displayed on the LCD. For example, an amplitude sinusoidal

ruling along the horizontal xr-axis is given by

x r

A

1 + cos

2

p

mR ( xr , y r ) =

(7)

where 2p is the period and A the maximum amplitude (in our case A=255 grey levels) and is

a phase shift parameter determined by the initial position of the grating. The function M(xr, yr),

Eq. (6), represents the non-continuous amplitude sinusoidal grating sampled by the pixilated

structure of the LCD. The pixelization produces a diffraction pattern in which each diffraction

order comprises the laterally sheared images of the pupil, i.e. the ronchigrams.

Now, the intensity profile of the ronchigram at the detector plane I(x1, y1)=|G(x1, y1) G*(x1,

y1)| is calculated from Eqs. (4) and (5) with M(xr, yr) and F0(x0, y0) given by Eqs. (6-7) and Eq.

(3) respectively, giving7

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w(x1 , y1 )

w(x1 , y1 )

s

cos( )

sin( )

x1

y1

( x1 , y1 ) =

(8)

(9)

where C is a dc term, V(x1, y1) is the fringes visibility, (x1, y1) represents undesirable noise

term, (x1, y1) is the object phase difference to be measured and is the angle the ruling makes

with the y1 axis. It is seen in Eq. (8) that shifting the origin of the sinusoidal grating changes

the phase of the ronchigrams by the same amount. This shift is done by software, i.e. by

changing the origin of the ruling.

As it is seen from Eqs. (7) and (8), displaying sinusoidal gratings with a phase shift ,

implies a shift of the phase by the same amount. Due that the ruling period on the LCD is

known, it is known also the discrete shift, i.e. if the period is 24 pixels, shifting the grating by

6 pixels shifts the ronchigrams by /2 rad without any errors, except the alignments of the

pixel during the LCD fabrication.

Thus to recover the phase, and in consequence the wavefront deviations, phase shifting

algorithms are a suitable option. If we display four sinusoidal gratings with =p/2 and their

respective intensities are recorded, the phase is calculated with the Equation

I ( x1 , y1 ;2 ) I (x1 , y1 ;0 )

.

I (x1 , y1 ;3 ) I ( x1 , y1 ;1 )

( x1 , y1 ) = arctg

(10)

Clearly, the phase obtained is wrapped into the interval [-, ] and an unwrapping process

is necessary.

From Eqs. (9) and (10) it is seen that the phase obtained from the Ronchi test give

information only of the derivatives of the target function w(x1, y1) then an integration

procedure is necessary6. To recover unambiguously the deformations is necessary to perform

the test twice using rulings with at least two directions, i.e. two values of . The faster is

setting =0 (vertical ruling) and =/2 (horizontal ruling). The algorithm we used to perform

the integration of the horizontal and vertical unwrapped phases is described in ref [6]. It is

based on a fitting procedure where the desired wavefront phase is represented by a 2D

polynomial of the kth degree, with k=5. This function is x and y differentiated to obtain two

functions with unknown coefficients. The horizontal and vertical unwrapped phases are used

to fit, in the least squares sense, each one of these functions. Once the coefficients of the

derivatives are calculated the phase function coefficients are calculated from those.

3. Experimental results

The optical set-up that we used for carrying out our experiments is depicted in Fig. 1. We

place a piece of common glass (window glass) on the top plate and by means of adjustment

screws the image is centred on the CCD (the area under test was about 32mmx130mm). The

collimated light picked up by the CCD was transferred to a frame grabber installed in a PC

and displayed on its monitor. Now, the sinusoidal grating, mR was computer generated and

displayed on the LCD: the deformed grating image (ronchigram) was observed on the

computer screen. In general the frequencies of the rulings displayed by the PC monitor did not

match with those displayed by the LCD, so a calibration procedure is necessary. We did it

with the help of a 100x microscope (VZM 1000).

The LCD screen used was a pocket KOPIN CiberDisplayTM320, 0.24" diagonal size, and

320x240 square pixels of 15m x15 m.

The frame grabber used to capture the ronchigrams was the VFG-100 from Imaging Tech.

and our images had 256x240 pixels and 256 grey levels.

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A vertical digital sinusoidal ruling (2p=0.36 mm) was displayed on the LCD. An initial

ronchigram (I1) was grabbed and stored in the computer [Fig. 2(a)]. The digital ruling was

shifted causing the ronchigram to be shifted by /2 rad in phase (I2). The same process

followed for the other two images. Once the four ronchigrams were captured, they were

smoothed by a convolution operation with a 5x5 matrix. Then Eq. (10) was applied, resulting

in the wrapped phase shown in Fig. 2b, which was later unwrapped11.

(a)

(b)

Fig. 2. Experimental results obtained with a digital vertical sinusoidal grating (a) Ronchigram.

(b) Wrapped phase corresponding to the four vertical ronchigrams shifted in phase.

By displaying horizontal sinusoidal rulings and following the same capturing and data

processing followed for vertical rulings, we obtain the horizontal wrapped phase (not shown).

The deformations D(x,y) [Eq. 1] of the glass with respect to an ideal plane were calculated by

integrating the corresponding horizontal and vertical unwrapped phases6, having a Peak to

Valley and RMS deviations of 2.03 and 0.29 respectively [Fig. 3]. In order to assess the

proposed method, the same optical element was tested with a commercial Fizeau

interferometer [Fig. 4]. We found a Peak to Valley and RMS deviations of 1.98 and 0.34

respectively.

Fig. 3. Surface topography obtained with the Ronchi test after unwrapping the horizontal and

vertical wrapped ronchigrams and its integration

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It is appropriate to mention that although numerically agreement was good, the integration

procedure we have used smoothed the wavefront shape. This smoothing process is better seen

in Figs. 5(a) and 5(b), where Figs. 3 and 4 were converted into fringes digitally.

(a)

(b)

Fig. 5. Interferometric fringes representation of Figs. 3 and 4. (a) From Ronchi results. (b)

From Fizeau results.

5. Conclusions

A method to evaluate flat surfaces by means of a grazing configuration of an LCD Ronchi test

has been described. The liquid crystal display was used as a grating and a phase shifting

device. Even that under a grazing configuration the sensitivity of the test is reduced by a factor

of 6 or more we have obtained experimental results similar to those obtained with a

commercial Fizeau interferometer under normal configuration. We believe that the main

differences rest on the least squared integration method that we used which smoothed the

calculated surface.

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Mr. Jos de la Luz Hurtado for their contributions to the

developments of this work. Mr. Mora would like also to acknowledge the financial support

from Centro de Investigaciones en ptica, Mxico.

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