Air etalon facilitated simultaneous measurement of group refractive index and thickness using spectral interferometry.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Applied optics, Volume 53, Issue 31, p.7483-6 (2014)


A simple method based on air etalons of a transparent cavity is proposed to simultaneously measure the group refractive index and thickness of a transparent optical plate by spectral domain low coherence interferometry. In this method, only a single beam path is needed in contrast to the two beam paths, the reference and sample arms, of the conventional Michelson interferometer. An empty cavity is first constructed in the beam path by two glass plates. Then the transparent plate under test is inserted into the cavity, so that two air gaps are formed in the cavity. A beam of light of low coherence length is then transmitted through the cavity in the normal direction. Measurements of the reflected waves by the air gaps before and after the sample plate is put into the cavity allow us to determine the group refractive index (n<sub>g</sub>) and thickness (d) of the sample simultaneously. The relative precision of the results for d and n<sub>g</sub> are both approximately 7×10<sup>-4</sup>.

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