What is a Twyman-Green Interferometer?
A Twyman-Green interferometer is a laser interferometer configuration used for measuring the surface shape and transmitted wavefront quality of optical components, assemblies, systems, and optical-grade mechanical surfaces.
In a Twyman-Green laser interferometer, a source beam is collimated, then divided by a beam splitter. The “reference beam” is directed to a high-quality reference mirror. The “test beam” is directed to the test surface. The test wavefront can be shaped to match the concave/convex curvature of the test surface or system by using a diverging lens or beam expander.
Twyman-Green Interferometers Measure Surface Shape
When the two reflected beams pass back through the beam splitter, they recombine, forming an interference pattern. This pattern is due to changes in phase caused by the differences between the test surface and “perfect” reference surface. The sensor records this interference pattern as a single acquisition frame.
Phase shifting interferometry combines several frames of data to measure the heights of all points on the test surface to accurately quantify the surface shape. Several methods are available to acquire multiple frames. The typical method introduces small, systematic phase shifts by moving the reference mirror between frames. This method can be described as a “frame rate” limited technique.
Dynamic Interferometry: Measure Despite Vibration
4D Technology’s Twyman-Green interferometers employ a different approach. These instruments use a polarization-based Dynamic Interferometry® technique to collect four frames of data simultaneously. A quarter-wave plate is introduced into both the test and reference beams, imparting different polarization states.
An element introduced before the camera separates the data into four phases which can be imaged simultaneously by the sensor.
The advantage of the Dynamic Interferometry technique is that it is exposure limited. With Dynamic Interferometry, acquisition times are as short as a few microseconds. This incredibly quick acquisition freezes vibration and turbulence, producing excellent measurements even in noisy environments.
4D Technology pioneered the development of Dynamic Interferometry for single frame, quantitative phase measurement.
Advantages of a Twyman-Green Interferometer
Twyman-Green interferometers have several key advantages over other types of interferometers.
Measure in Difficult Locations
The compact optical design makes for a small measurement head, which is easy to position in tight spaces. The laser source can be coupled to the head via a fiber optic cable, which moves heat-generating elements away from the optics. The combined result: easy positioning in challenging locations.
Measure Despite Vibration, Without Isolation
With a dynamic PhaseCam interferometer, vibration isolation is not required. This advantage is particularly critical when measuring large optics, or when measuring over long paths, where isolation systems would be prohibitively expensive. The interferometer does not even need to be coupled to the test optic, further simplifying setup.
Measure Without an Expensive Reference
With a Fizeau interferometer, expensive, high quality reference transmission (flat or spherical) optics are required. The Twyman-Green interferometer does not require this external reference optic.
Motorized control of all functions means that a PhaseCam Twyman-Green can be operated remotely in measurement towers, vacuum chambers, environmental chambers and other challenging locations.
No Calibration Required
With no mechanical phase-shifting as in a temporal interferometers, fewer parts, and no delicate high-voltage PZT actuators, a Twyman-Green PhaseCam is always accurate.
The inherently on-axis design of the Twyman-Green interferometer means high resolution and accuracy is built into PhaseCams.
Measure Low Return Systems or Highly Reflective Surfaces
Polarization control lets you match the energy in the test and reference beam to optimize fringe contrast. This feature lets you significantly improve the measurement noise floor and vertical resolution. A wide range of test setup reflectivities can be supported, and excellent contrast can be achieved, even in low return setups.
Applications for Dynamic Twyman-Green Interferometers
Twyman-Green interferometers are particularly well suited for measuring:
- large, concave optics
- slow f/# concave components
- focal optical systems
- aspheric optics
- low-return setups
- in environmental chambers and pressure vessels
- over long measurement paths
- in measurement towers or other hard-to-access locations
- inside polishing equipment for in situ process feedback
- moving systems, such as flexible membranes, adaptive optics, and actuating/spinning components.
4D Technology’s Range of Twyman-Green Laser Interferometers
4D’s Twyman-Green PhaseCam laser interferometers from 4D Technology have continually led the industry for high performance and innovation.
With available wavelengths from visible through 3.39 microns, industry-leading analysis software and a range of high-quality accessories, 4D Twyman-Green laser interferometers offer incredible value and flexibility.
4D Twyman-Green Laser Interferometers
PhaseCam 6100 Twyman-Green Laser Interferometers
An easy-to-position, fiber-coupled measurement head and motorized controls, make the incredibly small PhaseCam 6100 ideal for long path measurements. Use it for remote mounting in measurement towers or pressure vessels, and other challenging test setups.
PhaseCam 6000 Twyman-Green Laser Interferometers
With a tiny, easy-to-position, fiber-coupled measurement head and motorized controls, the PhaseCam 6000 is ideal for on-machine metrology, remote mounting in measurement towers or pressure vessels, and other challenging environments. PhaseCam 6000 is a Twyman-Green interferometer.
PhaseCam 4020 Twyman-Green Laser Interferometers
The PhaseCam 4020 features simple, manual controls and vibration immunity. Flexible and low cost for the lab or shop floor.
PhaseCam NIR Laser Interferometers
Lightweight and vibration-insensitive for surface and wavefront measurements at near infrared (1.053, 1.064, 1.3 and 1.55 micron) wavelengths.
PhaseCam SWIR Laser Interferometers
Compact, lightweight and vibration-insensitive for accurate surface and wavefront measurements at 1.55 micron wavelengths.
PhaseCam IR Laser Interferometers
Accurate surface and wavefront measurements at 3.39 micron wavelength. These dual mode systems operate in vibration-immune mode for demanding environments such as clean rooms, or in traditional, temporal phase-shifting. Ideal for quality verification of IR optics, focal optical systems and afocal components.
PhaseCam 4020HP High Power Laser Interferometers
A high power, 25 mW HeNe laser makes it possible to measure low reflectivity (<1%) setups, such as measuring aspheres using Computer Generated Holograms (CGHs).