An optical lever by using a mode-locked laser for angle measurement

Yuki Shimizu, Yukitoshi Kudo, Yuan Liu Chen, So Ito, Wei Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


A new concept of optical lever for angle measurement having an extended angular measurement range with a mode-locked laser as the light source, which is significantly extended from the conventional photodiode (PD)-type optical levers with a single frequency laser, is proposed. In the proposed concept, a collimated laser beam of the mode-locked laser is made incident to a grating reflector to generate a group of first-order diffracted beams from the grating reflector. Differing from a conventional PD-type optical lever employing a laser beam with a single frequency as the light source, the angle measurement range can be significantly expanded for the sake of the group of widely-spread first-order diffracted beams. In addition, the proposed optical lever has a potential of assuring the traceability of angle measurement by linking it to the optical frequency comb based on the mode-locked laser, which is employed as the national standard of time and frequency. In this paper, as a first step of this research, a mode-locked femtosecond laser is employed as the light source of the proposed optical lever. To distinguish each of the first-order diffracted beams generated with the combination of the mode-locked femtosecond laser and the diffraction grating having a grating period of 1.67 μm, a Fabry-Pérot etalon is employed in the setup of the optical lever to modulate the distance between two neighboring beams in the group of first-order diffracted beams. Experimental setups are developed, and basic experiments are carried out to verify the feasibility of the proposed optical lever.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-80
Number of pages9
JournalPrecision Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1


  • Angle
  • Laser autocollimation
  • Measurement
  • Mode-locked laser
  • Optical lever


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