Image Number 6 for United States Patent #6987570.
Composite height profiles are produced by taking successive interferometric measurements of different sections of a sample surface by sequentially placing them within the field of view of the instrument. A reference signal is used to provide a full history of scanner motion during each measurement scan. The reference signal is independent of the fringes collected for profile-measurement purposes and is used to produce a z-position history of the scan that is independent of scanner nonlinearities and other error sources. As a result, errors caused by scanner nonlinearity and lack of repeatability are removed from the process and it is possible to combine profiles of sections that are spatially disconnected without loss of precision attributable to scanner imperfections.