Optical angle sensor technology based on the optical frequency comb laser

Yuki Shimizu, Hiraku Matsukuma, Wei Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


A mode-locked femtosecond laser, which is often referred to as the optical frequency comb, has increasing applications in various industrial fields, including production engineering, in the last two decades. Many efforts have been made so far to apply the mode-locked femtosecond laser to the absolute distance measurement. In recent years, a mode-locked femtosecond laser has increasing application in angle measurement, where the unique characteristics of the mode-locked femtosecond laser such as the stable optical frequencies, equally-spaced modes in frequency domain, and the ultra-short pulse trains with a high peak power are utilized to achieve precision and stable angle measurement. In this review article, some of the optical angle sensor techniques based on the mode-locked femtosecond laser are introduced. First, the angle scale comb, which can be generated by combining the dispersive characteristic of a scale grating and the discretized modes in a mode-locked femtosecond laser, is introduced. Some of the mode-locked femtosecond laser autocollimators, which have been realized by combining the concept of the angle scale comb with the laser autocollimation, are also explained. Angle measurement techniques based on the absolute distance measurements, lateral chromatic aberration, and second harmonic generation (SHG) are also introduced.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4047
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun 1


  • Absolute angle measurement
  • Diffraction grating
  • Laser autocollimation
  • Mode-locked femtosecond laser
  • Nonlinear optics
  • Optical angle sensor
  • Optical frequency comb
  • Second harmonic generation


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