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Laser diode feedback interferometer for measurement of displacements without ambiguity

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3 Author(s)
S. Donati ; Dipartimento di Elettronica, Pavia Univ., Italy ; G. Giuliani ; S. Merlo

We report what, to our knowledge, is the first example of laser feedback interferometer capable of measuring displacements of arbitrary form using a single interferometric channel. With a GaAlAs laser diode we can measure 1.2-m displacements, with interferometric resolution, simply by means of the backreflection from the surface (reflective or diffusive) under test. The operation is performed at moderate (i.e., not very weak) levels of feedback, such that a two-level hysteresis is found in the amplitude modulated signal. This is shown to allow the recovery of displacement without sign ambiguity from a single interferometric signal. Experimental results are reported, which are found to be in good agreement with the underlying theory. Performances of the developed feedback interferometer are finally presented

Published in:

IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 1 )