Student project: Interferometer design


3. October 2022

Design of a thermo-opto-mechanically compensated interferometer

Who: Bachelor- or master students

What: Simulation (C++ and CAD)

Where: HSU or Online

Contact: Prof’in Katharina-Sophie Isleif, isleifk(at)

You will use optical and mechanical 2D simulations to model interferometric setups and determine phase measurement precision as a function of temperature gradients. The goal is to find a clever and simple design that is as insensitive to temperature variations as possible.

Background: High-precision laser interferometers are used to measure the smallest changes in distance. These often require very complicated and costly manufacturing processes if precision is to be achieved over long measurement times. The setups often consist of a piece of glass on which the optical components are “bonded” so that the phase measurements are affected as little as possible by temperature drifts from the environment. To achieve the highest measurement precision, these quasi-monolithic interferometers must nevertheless be operated in temperature-stable vacuum chambers, which severely limits the possible range of applications. Within this work, the material properties of glass and metal should be combined, incorporating both thermal expansion and thermo-optical effects into the design.