(Drs. Thomas Kurfess and Levent Degertekin, co-advisors)
"Miniaturized Diffraction Based Interferometric Distance Measurement Sensor"
The idea for a new distance measurement sensor using interferometry has been investigated. The investigation has shown the feasibility of the idea via experimental results and analysis. This interferometer is composed of a lens and a diffraction grating. The lens provides a specified resolution at a focal point as a function of distance from the target surface and the diffraction grating governs interferometric sensitivity from diffraction grating to reflective target surface. Combining the lens and the diffraction grating, the interferometer can be a sensitive resolved distance measurement device. Field propagation analysis results using scalar diffraction theory are compared with experimental results. The comparisons are in good agreement. Plano-convex lens having a diameter of 200?m and a focal length of 1000mm is designed and built using micromachining. The system works well in the analysis results. Issues in fabrication of the lens and diffraction grating are discussed. With these prior research results, interim conclusions and future research plans are suggested.