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Sub-nanometer height sensitivity by phase shifting interference microscopy under ambient environmental fluctuations

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posted on 2023-11-30, 06:39 authored by Azeem Ahmad, Vishesh Dubey, Ankit Butola, Jean-Claude Tinguely, Balpreet Singh Ahluwalia, Dalip Singh Mehta
Phase shifting interferometric (PSI) techniques are among the most sensitive phase measurement methods. Owing to its high sensitivity, any minute phase change caused due to environmental instability results into, inaccurate phase measurement. Consequently, a well calibrated piezo electric transducer (PZT) and highly-stable environment is mandatory for measuring accurate phase map using PSI implementation. Here, we present a new method of recording temporal phase shifted interferograms and a numerical algorithm, which can retrieve phase maps of the samples with negligible errors under the ambient environmental fluctuations. The method is implemented by recording a video of continuous temporally phase shifted interferograms and phase shifts were calculated between all the data frames using newly developed algorithm with a high accuracy less than or equal to 5.5*10-4*pi rad. To demonstrate the robustness of the proposed method, a manual translation of the stage was employed to introduce continuous temporal phase shift between data frames. The developed algorithm is first verified by performing quantitative phase imaging of optical waveguide and red blood cells using uncalibrated PZT under the influence of vibrations/air turbulence and compared with the well calibrated PZT results. Furthermore, we demonstrated the potential of the proposed approach by acquiring the quantitative phase imaging of an optical waveguide with a rib height of only 2 nm. By using 12-bit CMOS camera the height of shallow rib waveguide is measured with a height sensitivity of 4 Angstrom without using PZT and in presence of environmental fluctuations.

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