Abstract

In a point diffraction interferometer, the existence of alignment error between an objective convergent spot and a diffraction pinhole can lead to wavefront error and diffraction intensity reduction. Meanwhile, the contrast of the point diffraction interferograms probably decreases in this procedure. These changes will have significant influence on its inspection precision. A precise alignment system of an optical path for a point diffraction interferometer is proposed in this paper. First, diffraction theory is used to analyze the mathematical relationships of alignment error to diffraction wavefront error and numerical aperture and wavefront error to pinhole size. Then, according to the requirement, the scheme of an optical path alignment system is designed. In this stage, alignment images as well as intensities of a reflected and diffracted beam from the point diffraction plate will be acquired. In addition, an image processing algorithm for measuring alignment error is designed, and a mathematical model between quantities of measurement and control is constructed. Finally, implementation and experiment of this method are also introduced. Misalignment situations, including lateral translation, longitudinal defocus, and tilt error, are well eliminated, and the quality of interferograms is also improved. From the results, it can be concluded that the system is of desirable precision and efficiency.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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