In this paper we describe a method to increase the spatial resolution of surface micro-roughness measurements. As the surface specifications for precision optics become more demanding, the metrology instruments must cover a broad spatial frequency range. Generally, multiple instruments are used to cover the full range of the specifications. For example, an interferometer (Fizeau, Michelson, etc.) would be used to test low spatial frequency surface errors, an interferometric microscope (such as a white light interferomenter) would be used for higher spatial frequency errors, and an AFM would be used for even higher spatial frequency errors. For some precision optics, three or more instruments would be necessary. However, an increase in the resolvable spatial frequency bandwidth of a metrology instrument could reduce the number of instruments necessary to characterize the optical surface over the spatial frequency bands defined by the optical specifications.
A solution to increase the resolvable spatial frequency bandwidth of micro-roughness measurements will be presented. This will be accomplished by implementing an interferometric microscope and a process called "sub-pixel spatial resolution interferometry" (SSRI) with interlaced stitching. In this process, multiple interferometric measurements are made as the optic under test (or the CCD array) is laterally shifted at sub-pixel increments. The measurements are then combined to construct a measurement with higher spatial resolution. Initial results obtained implementing a similar process used to increase the spatial resolution of measurements made with a commercially available Fizeau interferometer will be presented.