AuthorGoodwin, Eric Peter
Committee ChairGreivenkamp, John E.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe optical power of a lens is determined by the surface curvature and the refractive index, n. Knowledge of the index is required for accurate lens design models and for examining material variations from sample to sample. The refractive index of glass can be accurately measured using a prism spectrometer, but measuring the index of soft contact lens materials presents many challenges. These materials are non-rigid, thin, and must remain hydrated in a saline solution during testing. Clearly an alternative to a prism spectrometer must be used to accurately measure index.A Dual Interferometer System has been designed, built and characterized as a novel method for measuring the refractive index of transparent optical materials, including soft contact lens materials. The first interferometer is a Low Coherence Interferometer in a Twyman-Green configuration with a scanning reference mirror. The contact lens material sample is placed in a measurement cuvette, where it remains hydrated. By measuring the locations of the multiple optical interfaces, the physical thickness t of the material is measured. A new algorithm has been developed for processing the low coherence signals obtained from the reflection at each optical interface.The second interferometer is a Mach-Zehnder interferometer with a tunable HeNe laser light source. This interferometer measures the optical path length (OPL) of the test sample in the cuvette in transmission as a function of five wavelengths in the visible spectrum. This is done using phase-shifting interferometry. Multiple thickness regions are used to solve 2π phase ambiguities in the OPL.The outputs of the two interferometers are combined to determine the refractive index as a function of wavelength: n(λ) = OPL(λ)/t. Since both t and OPL are measured using a detector array, n is measured at hundreds of thousands of data points. A measurement accuracy of 0.0001 in refractive index is achieved with this new instrument, which is verified using custom glass calibration samples.
Degree ProgramOptical Sciences