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Opto-Electronics Review

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Direct measurement of group dispersion of optical components using white-light spectral interferometry

1Technical University of Ostrava

© 2007 Versita Warsaw. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Citation Information: Opto-Electronics Review. Volume 15, Issue 3, Pages 144–148, ISSN (Online) 1896-3757, DOI: 10.2478/s11772-007-0010-z, September 2007

Publication History

Published Online:


We present a simple white-light spectral interferometric technique employing a low-resolution spectrometer for a direct measurement of the group dispersion of optical components over a wide wavelength range. The technique utilizes an unbalanced Mach-Zehnder interferometer with a component under test inserted in one arm and the other arm with adjustable path length. We record a series of spectral interferograms to measure the equalization wavelength as a function of the path length difference. We measure the absolute group refractive index as a function of wavelength for a quartz crystal of known thickness and the relative one for optical fiber. In the latter case we use a microscope objective in front and a lens behind the fiber and subtract their group dispersion, which is measured by a technique of tandem interferometry including also a Michelson interferometer.

Keywords: spectral interferometry; white-light source; low-resolution spectrometer; Mach-Zehnder interferometer; group refractive index; dispersion; quartz crystal; holey fiber

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