, Volume 45, Issue 5, pp 451-456

Instantaneous phase-stepping interferometry using polarization imaging with a micro-retarder array

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An instantaneous phase-stepping and subsequent phase analysis method, using a CCD camera with a form-birefringent micro-retarder array, is proposed for interferometry. An optical setup of a polarization interferometry using a Twyman-Green interferometer with two polarizers is constructed to analyze the distribution of out-of-plane displacement. Light emerging from the interferometer is recorded using a CCD camera that has micro-retarder array on the CCD plane. This micro-retarder array has four different principal directions. That is, an image obtained by the CCD camera contains four types of data corresponding to four different optical axes of the retarder. The four images separated from the image recorded by the CCD camera are reconstructed using gray-level interpolation. Then, the distributions of the Stokes parameters that represent the state of polarization are calculated from the four images. The phase distribution of the interference fringe pattern produced by the Twyman-Green interferometer is then obtained from these Stokes parameters. This method is applicable to time-dependent phenomena because multiple exposures are unnecessary for sufficient data acquisition in the completion of phase analysis.