Recent advanced in sub-aperture approaches to finishing and metrology

Marc Tricard*, Paul Dumas, Greg Forbes, Mike DeMarco

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper summarizes some of latest developments by QED Technologies® (QED) in the field of high-precision polishing and metrology. Magneto-Rheological Finishing (MRF®) is a deterministic sub-aperture polishing process that overcomes many of the fundamental limitations of traditional finishing. The MR fluid forms a polishing tool that is perfectly conformai and therefore can polish a variety of shapes, including flats, spheres, aspheres, prisms, and cylinders, with round or non-round apertures. Over the past several years, QED's Q22 family of polishing platforms, based on the MRF process, have demonstrated the ability to produce optical surfaces with accuracies better than 30 nm peak-to-valley (PV) and surface micro-roughness less than 0.5 nm rms on an ever-widening variety of optical glass, single crystal, and glass-ceramic materials. The MRF process facilitates the correction of the transmitted wavefront of single elements and/or entire systems, as well as enabling the inducement of specific desired wavefront characteristics (i.e., other than making surfaces perfectly flat or spherical), which is beneficial for applications such as phase correction or other freeform applications. QED's Sub-aperture Stitching Interferometer (SSI®) complements MRF by extending the effective aperture, accuracy, resolution, and dynamic range of a phase-shifting interferometer. This workstation performs automated sub-aperture stitching measurements of spheres, flats, and mild aspheres. It combines a six-axis precision stage system, a commercial Fizeau interferometer, and specially developed software that automates measurement design, data acquisition, and the reconstruction of the full-aperture map of figure error. Aside from the correction of sub- aperture placement errors (such as tilts, optical power, and registration effects), the SSI software also accounts for reference- wave error, distortion, and other aberrations in the interferometer's imaging optics. By addressing these matters upfront, we avoid limitations encountered in earlier stitching work and significantly boost reproducibility beyond that of the integrated interferometer on its own.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Place of PublicationWashington, DC
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)0819461881, 9780819461889
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
Event2nd International Symposium on Advanced Optical Manufacturing and Testing Technologies - Advanced Optical Manufacturing and Testing Technologies - Xian, China
Duration: 2 Nov 20055 Nov 2005


Other2nd International Symposium on Advanced Optical Manufacturing and Testing Technologies - Advanced Optical Manufacturing and Testing Technologies


  • Aspheric fabrication
  • Magnetorheological Finishing (MRF)
  • Metrology
  • Polishing
  • Stitching interferometry


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