A device and method to facilitate the gross alignment of patterned object- and image-plane masks in optical systems such as the phase-shifting point diffraction interferometer are provided. When an array of similar pinholes or discreet mask fields is used, confusion can occur over the alignment of the focused beams within the field. Adding to the mask pattern a circumscribed or inscribed set of symbols that are identifiable in situ facilitates the unambiguous gross alignment of the object- and/or image-plane masks. Alternatively, a system of markings can be encoded directly into the window shape to accomplish this same task.
The U.S. Government has certain rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC03-76SF00098 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.