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A method for aligning a Michaelson-type interferometer is described in which an auxiliary light source is required.
English (United States)
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Alignment of a Michaelson Type Interferometer
A method for aligning a Michaelson-type interferometer is described in which
an auxiliary light source is required.
The alignment of an interferometer is critical to its operation. As specifically
applied to a Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) interferometer, the method
comprises directing the light beam from a selected auxiliary laser light source,
such as a helium-neon laser, into the interferometer entrance port and
positioning a light-sensitive detector to generate an output signal in response to
the light from the selected laser. The output signal from the detector is then
digitized and Fourier transformed. The amplitude of the transformed signal is
then compared to the peak to peak amplitude of the digitized signal before
transformation. This ratio is an indication of the quality of alignment, and an
increase in this ratio after a change in the physical alignment of the
interferometer indicates improvement. The quality of the alignment is further
indicated by comparison of the ratio derived from the auxiliary light source to that
derived solely from the instrument reference laser.