The Center for Freeform Optics
An Industry/University Cooperative Research Center

Point-cloud noncontact metrology of freeform optical surfaces

Jianing Yao, Alexander Anderson, and Jannick P. Rolland in Optics Express 26 (2018)

In this paper, we demonstrate the development of a point-cloud metrology method for the noncontact, high resolution, high precision testing of freeform surfaces. The method leverages swept source optical coherence tomography together with a common-path setup in the sample arm configured to mitigate the axial jitter caused by scanning and environmental perturbations. The lateral x-y scanning field was also rigorously evaluated for the sampling step, linearity, straightness, and orthogonality. Based on the finely engineered system hardware, a comprehensive system model was developed capable of characterizing the vertical displacement sensitivity and lateral scanning noise. The model enables predicting the point-cloud surface-metrology uncertainty map of any freeform surface and guiding the selection of optimum experimental conditions. A system was then assembled and experimentally evaluated first with flat and spherical standards to demonstrate the measurement uncertainty. Results of measuring an Alvarez freeform surface with 400-µm peak-to-valley sag show 93 nm (< λ/14) precision and 128 nm (< λ/10) root-mean-square residual from the nominal shape. The high resolution measurements also reveal mid spatial frequency structures on the test part.