Single-test Ritchey-Common interferometry

Opt Express. 2024 Jan 1;32(1):62-78. doi: 10.1364/OE.505632.


The Ritchey-Common test is widely adopted to measure large optical flats. The traditional Ritchey-Common test eliminates the defocus error with multiple tests by changing the position of the mirrors, which suffers from cumbersome steps, poor repeatability, coupled system error, extra mirror deformation, and potential overturning. The above problems increase the test time, decrease the reliability and accuracy, increase the test cost, and threaten manufacturing safety. We propose a single-test Ritchey-Common interferometry to avoid the obligatory position change in the traditional method. A sub-aperture of test flat is directly measured by a small-aperture interferometer before the test, which is easy to implement, to replace the extra system wavefront measurement in different positions. The defocus is calculated in sub-aperture at exactly the same position as the full-field measurement without the position change, then the surface form under test can be obtained with accurate optical path modeling. Measurement experiments for 100 mm and 2050 mm aperture flats were performed to demonstrate the feasibility of this method. Compared with a direct test in a standard Zygo interferometer, the peak to valley (PV) and root mean square (RMS) errors were 0.0889 λ and 0.0126 λ (λ=632.8 nm), respectively, which reaches the upper limit of accuracy of the interferometer. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first proposal of the Ritchey-Common test that can eliminate the defocus error and realize high accuracy measurement in a single test. Our work paves the way for reliable and practical optical metrology for large optical flats.