Lateral resolution limit of laser Doppler vibrometer microscopes for the measurement of surface acoustic waves
The lateral or transverse resolution of single-point interferometers for vibration measurement is especially critical for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) vibrating up to the gigahertz range. In this regime, the acoustic wavelengths are typically in the range of the size of the laser focus. Thus, a successful vibration measurement requires distinct knowledge about the lateral resolution limit and its dependencies with instrumentation parameters. In this paper, we derive an analytic approximation formula, which allows for estimation of the systematic measurement deviation of the vibration amplitude and, thus, a definition of the lateral resolution limit of single-point interferometers for vibration measurement. Further, a compensation and an optimum numerical aperture are proposed the reduce the measurement deviation. For this, the model includes a laser-interferometer microscope of Mach-Zehnder type with Gaussian laser beams considering the Gouy effect and wavefront curvature. As a measurement scenario, an unidirectional surface acoustic wave (SAW) is regarded. The theoretic findings have been validated in the experiment with a representative vibration measurement on a SAW filter at 433 MHz with our heterodyne laser-Doppler interferometer with offset-locked semiconductor lasers. The provided formulas help instrument designers and users to choose suitable instrument parameters, especially the numerical aperture of the utilized microscope objective.