Interferometer with improved sensitivity than Michaelson Interferometer

Levy Uriel, HUJI, Faculty of Science, Applied Physics Department

New approach produces better sensitivity, resulting in improved resolution



Applied Physics, Optoelectronics / Photonics,Optoelectronic Computing & Optical Communication

Development Stage

Proof of concept. Research completed

Patent Status

Granted US


New approach to interferometry enables measurement of smaller phase changes than conventional Michelson interferometer, resulting in improved resolution

Our Innovation

New radial-polarization interferometer (RPI) combines the concepts of spatially inhomogeneous polarization fields (other than circular, elliptical, or linear) with orthogonal-polarization interferometry to generate a spatially varying intensity pattern along the beam. This yields additional spatial and phase information which improves displacement and phase-change measurements.


The radial-polarization interferometer (RPI) uses inhomogeneous, orthogonally polarized beams in the experimental setup that produce a spatially and intensity varying beam pattern (left) unlike the constant-intensity output from a Michelson interferometer (right). The RPI beam pattern yields additional information that improves phase measurements. (Courtesy of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Key Features

Minimum detectable phase change in the RPI is, on average, 3-4 orders of magnitude smaller compared with the Michelson interferometer, allowing the measurement of much smaller displacements.

Development Milestones

Seeking partners for commercialization

The Opportunity

Applications in atomic-level measurements in research laboratories, semiconductor fabrication, optics, remote sensing, metrology.  

Patent Status

Granted US 8,804,128

Contact for more information:

Matt Zarek
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