Displacement measurements with resolution in the 15 pm range

Puppin, Ezio
October 2005
Review of Scientific Instruments;Oct2005, Vol. 76 Issue 10, p105107
Academic Journal
An approach to the measurement of mechanical displacements in the picometer range is proposed. The basic idea is to intercept a focused laser beam with a blade whose displacements induce a variation in the intensity of the transmitted light. The smallest detectable displacement depends on the beam diameter and on the resolution of the electronic chain. In our preliminary experiment the beam has been focused with a microscope objective down to a size of 3 μm. Two different methods have been used for reducing noise in the electronic chain. In one case the output signal has been normalized to the laser intensity. In the other case the blade position has been modulated at low frequency. In both cases the smallest detectable displacement is in the order of 15 pm.


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