RP Photonics logo
RP Photonics
Technical consulting services on lasers, nonlinear optics, fiber optics etc.
Profit from the knowledge and experience of a top expert!
Powerful simulation and design software.
Make computer models in order to get a comprehensive understanding of your devices!
Success comes from understanding – be it in science or in industrial development.
The famous Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology – available online for free!
The ideal place for finding suppliers for many photonics products.
Advertisers: Make sure to have your products displayed here!
… combined with a great Buyer's Guide!
VLib part of the

White Light Interferometers

<<<  |  >>>  |  Feedback

Buyer's Guide

The ideal place to find suppliers for photonics products: high-quality information, simple and fast, respects your privacy!

5 suppliers for white light interferometers are listed.

Among them:

NKT Photonics

SuperK supercontinuum lasers with continuous output from 400 to 2400 nm: low-coherence output, very suitable for WLI applications

Your are not yet listed? Get your entry!

Ask RP Photonics for advice on how to measure the dispersion of dielectric mirrors or other components with a white light interferometer, what sets the noise limits, etc.

Definition: interferometers using broadband light inputs

German: Weißlichtinterferometer

Categories: optical metrology, photonic devices

How to cite the article; suggest additional literature

A white light interferometer, used e.g. in the context of low-coherence interferometry, is an interferometer, typically a Michelson interferometer, which works with a white light source, i.e. with a light source with broad optical bandwidth. The light source does not necessarily operate in the visible spectral range, really generating white light. Its temporal coherence has to be fairly small, whereas a high spatial coherence is normally needed. The high spatial coherence combined with a broad bandwidth can most easily be obtained by launching light from a bulb into a single-mode fiber, but this leads to a very small launched power. The radiance (brightness) can be increased by many orders of magnitude by using a superluminescent source such as a superluminescent diode. In some cases, wavelength-swept tunable lasers are used.

The detector in a white light interferometer can either be a photodetector which integrates contributions of different wavelengths and records the signal in the time domain, or a spectrometer (spectral interferometry).

Application of White Light Interferometry

White light interferometry is used for different purposes. The main applications are:


[1]K. Naganuma et al., “Group-delay measurement using the Fourier transform of an interferometric cross correlation generated by white light”, Opt. Lett. 15 (7), 393 (1990)
[2]M. Beck and I. A. Walmsley, “Measurement of group delay with high temporal and spectral resolution”, Opt. Lett. 15 (9), 492 (1990)
[3]A. P. Kovacs et al., “Group-delay measurement on laser mirrors by spectrally resolved white-light interferometry”, Opt. Lett. 20 (7), 788 (1995)
[4]S. Diddams and J.-C. Diels, “Dispersion measurements with white-light interferometry”, J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 13 (6), 1120 (1996)
[5]C. Dorrer et al., “Experimental implementation of Fourier-transform spectral interferometry and its application to the study of spectrometers”, Appl. Phys. B 70, S99 (2000)
[6]Q. Ye et al., “Dispersion measurement of tapered air–silica microstructure fiber by white-light interferometry”, Appl. Opt. 41 (22), 4467 (2002)
[7]A. Gosteva et al., “Noise-related resolution limit of dispersion measurements with white-light interferometers”, J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 22 (9), 1868 (2005)

(Suggest additional literature!)

See also: interferometers, coherence, dispersion, white light sources, Spotlight article 2008-02-22

In the RP Photonics Buyer's Guide, 5 suppliers for white light interferometers are listed.

How do you rate this article?

Your general impression: don't know poor satisfactory good excellent
Technical quality: don't know poor satisfactory good excellent
Usefulness: don't know poor satisfactory good excellent
Readability: don't know poor satisfactory good excellent

Found any errors? Suggestions for improvements? Do you know a better web page on this topic?

Spam protection: (enter the value of 5 + 8 in this field!)

If you want a response, you may leave your e-mail address in the comments field, or directly send an e-mail.

If you like our website, you may also want to get our newsletters!

If you like this article, share it with your friends and colleagues, e.g. via social media:

relaxation oscillations

Evolution of output power and gain when an Yb-doped fiber laser is switched on. One can see the relaxation oscillations, with convergence towards the steady state. Each red or gray segment corresponds to 0.2 μs.

This diagram has been made with the RP Fiber Power software.

– Show all banners –

– Get your own banner! –