Editorial Feature

Radial-Polarization Interferometry Technique Improves Sensitivity and Resolution Compared to Conventional

Researcher: Prof Uriel Levy
Department: Faculty of Science, Applied Physics Department
University: Hebrew University of Jerusalem


This research explores a novel approach to interferometry allowing measurement of smaller phase changes when compared to traditional Michelson interferometer ensuring higher resolution.

The research relates to the fields of optoelectronics/photonics, applied physics, optical communication and optoelectronic computing.

The research phase has been completed and the project is at the proof of concept stage. A patent has been filed based on the technology that has been developed from this project.


The innovative radial-polarization interferometer (RPI) integrates the concepts of spatially inhomogeneous polarization fields (other than elliptical, circular, or linear) with orthogonal-polarization interferometry to produce a spatially varying intensity pattern along the beam. This yields added spatial and phase information which enhances displacement and phase-change measurements.

(Courtesy of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

The radial-polarization interferometer (RPI) uses orthogonally polarized, inhomogeneous beams in the experimental setup that produces a spatially and intensity varying beam pattern shown at the left dissimilar to the constant-intensity output from a Michelson interferometer that is shown at the right. The RPI beam pattern yields additional information that improves phase measurements.

Key Features

A key feature of the RPI is that it has a minimal detectable phase change, averaging  three to four orders of magnitude smaller compared to the Michelson interferometer, enabling the measurement of much smaller displacements.


The RPI finds applications in conducting atomic-level measurements in optics, research laboratories, semiconductor fabrication, remote sensing and metrology.

Current Status

Researchers are seeking partners to help commercialize the technology.

About the Department of Applied Physics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The goal of the Department of Applied Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is to obtain, generate, and provide knowledge at the frontier of physics research and to use it for significant advancements in science and technology. Specifically, the department is active in generating an evolving synergism between micro and optoelectronics.

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