White Light Interferometry

Reference work entry


White light interferometry is a well-known measurement technique commonly used in 3D shape and roughness characterization of engineered and biological objects. In this chapter, the theoretical background of two beam interference is first given. This section highlights the basics of interference, its dependence on temporal and spatial coherence of the source, and how coherence is used in different types of measurement. Next, the basics of fringe formation is discussed, followed by a description of the most common white light interference analysis methods. Frequently used and commercially available white light interferometry systems based on microscopes with interference objectives, namely Michelson, Mirau, and Linnik, are discussed, followed by a description of setups built specially to adapt to chosen sample geometries – as large complex samples, flats or cylinders, immersed objects, and matrixes of small samples. Next is a discussion of the analysis of white light fringes used to measure special features of objects, i.e., thick and thin films, harmonically moving objects, involving surface features that are challenging to measure (dissimilar materials, complicated geometry, etc.). A special case of white light interferometric system that is combined with a spectrometer is also briefly described. Finally, common applications of white light interferometry, those where the technique is used directly or those in which the white light signal is auxiliary, are briefly described.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.4D TechnologyTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Warsaw University of TechnologyWarsawPoland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Ida Nathan
    • 1
  • Norbert Meyendorf
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of AkronAkronUSA
  2. 2.Center for Nondestructive EvaluationIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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