Reception of Ultrasound by Laser

  • C. B. Scruby
Part of the CISM International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 330)


Most of the techniques to be considered in this lecture employ the principle of optical interferometry, the light being reflected from or scattered by the surface subject to ultrasonic displacement. Such interferometers may be divided into two types. In the first, light from a surface is made to interfere with a reference beam to give a measure of optical phase and hence instantaneous surface displacement. The second type is really a high resolution optical spectrometer which detects changes in the frequency of the scattered or reflected light, which in turn depend upon the velocity of the surface. First however, I shall briefly introduce a non-interferometric method, known best as the knife edge technique, which although limited in application can nevertheless be a simple and sensitive ultrasonic receiver. Although the techniques are all admittedly rather insensitive compared with piezoelectric devices, they do offer a number of advantages:
  • They are non-contacting and thus do not disturb the ultrasonic field.

  • Being remote, the point of measurement may be quickly moved and there are no restrictions on surface temperature.

  • High spatial resolution may be obtained without reducing sensitivity. The measurements may be localized over a few |im if necessary.

  • Interferometric measurements may be directly related to the wavelength of the light, so that no other calibration is required.

  • They have a truly broadband frequency response, difficult to achieve with piezoelectric probes especially at high frequencies.


Reference Beam Ultrasonic Signal Optical Path Difference Path Length Difference Bragg Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Scruby C B and Drain L E: Laser Ultrasonics, Adam Hilger, Bristol 1990.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    White R G and Emmony D C. J Phys E; Sei Instrum 18 (1985) 658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Palmer C H and Green R E Jr. Appl Optics 16 (1977) 2333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Drain LE and Moss B C. Opto-electronics 4 (1972) 429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Whitman R L, Laub IJ and Bates W J. IEEE Trans Sonics and Ultrasonics SU-15 (1968) 186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Monchalin J-P, Héon R, Bouchard P and Padioleau C Appl Phys Lett 55 (1989) 1612.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Jungerman R L, Khuri-Yakub B T and Kino G S J Acoust Soc Am 73 (1983) 1838.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hercher M Appl Optics 7 (1968) 951.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Monchalin J-P. Appl Phys Lett 47 (1985) 14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. B. Scruby
    • 1
  1. 1.National NDT CentreOxfordshireUK

Personalised recommendations