White-light interferometry is an absolute 3D-measurement technique, used for the inspection of structured silicon and
other materials with high quality surfaces. In this technique, each pixel of the camera detects a separate interference
signal, which correlates with the height of the corresponding object point. Different signal processing algorithms are
used, which extract the height from the interference signal by using the coherence or the phase information of the signal.
However, measurement errors can occur if there are chromatic aberrations in the interferometer system. Then the phase
information correlates with the height information in an unexpected manner and there are often disturbing 2&pgr; phase
jumps in the numerical evaluation process, although the topography of the object is continuous and a light source with a
short coherence length is used. We examined a Mirau type white-light interferometer with chromatic aberrations and
explain how mirrorlike, tilted objects cause a correlation of the phase and the height information in each interference
signal. We also show that this measurement error depends on both the slope of the object point and its field position. A
comparison of measurements and a simulation, which shows the described correlation effect, is given.