An improved phase-shifting point diffraction interferometer can measure both distortion and wavefront aberration. In the preferred embodiment, the interferometer employs an object-plane pinhole array comprising a plurality of object pinholes located between the test optic and the source of electromagnetic radiation and an image-plane mask array that is positioned in the image plane of the test optic. The image-plane mask array comprises a plurality of test windows and corresponding reference pinholes, wherein the positions of the plurality of pinholes in the object-plane pinhole array register with those of the plurality of test windows in image-plane mask array. Electromagnetic radiation that is directed into a first pinhole of object-plane pinhole array thereby creating a first corresponding test beam image on the image-plane mask array. Where distortion is relatively small, it can be directly measured interferometrically by measuring the separation distance between and the orientation of the test beam and reference-beam pinhole and repeating this process for at least one other pinhole of the plurality of pinholes of the object-plane pinhole array. Where the distortion is relative large, it can be measured by using interferometry to direct the stage motion, of a stage supporting the image-plane mask array, and then use the final stage motion as a measure of the distortion.
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.