OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 37, Iss. 1 — Jan. 1, 1998
  • pp: 54–64

Characterization for imperfect polarizers under imperfect conditions

Soe-Mie F. Nee, Chan Yoo, Teresa Cole, and Dennis Burge  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 37, Issue 1, pp. 54-64 (1998)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (285 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The principles for measuring the extinction ratio and transmittance of a polarizer are formulated by use of the principal Mueller matrix, which includes both polarization and depolarization. The extinction ratio is about half of the depolarization, and the contrast is the inverse of the extinction ratio. Errors in the extinction ratio caused by partially polarized incident light and the misalignment of polarizers can be corrected by the devised zone average method and the null method. Used with a laser source, the null method can measure contrasts for very good polarizers. Correct algorithms are established to deduce the depolarization for three comparable polarizers calibrated mutually. These methods are tested with wire-grid polarizers used in the 3–5-μm wavelength region with a laser source and also a lamp source. The contrasts obtained from both methods agree.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.5410) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Polarimetry
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization
(290.2200) Scattering : Extinction

Original Manuscript: January 31, 1997
Revised Manuscript: June 20, 1997
Published: January 1, 1998

Soe-Mie F. Nee, Chan Yoo, Teresa Cole, and Dennis Burge, "Characterization for imperfect polarizers under imperfect conditions," Appl. Opt. 37, 54-64 (1998)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. J. M. Bennett, H. E. Bennett, “Polarization,” in Handbook of Optics (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1978), pp. 10.13–10.14; J. M. Bennett, “Polarization,” in Handbook of Optics, M. Bass, E. W. Van Stryland, eds. (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1995), Vol. 1, pp. 5.12–5.13.
  2. T. A. Leonard, “Infrared polarizer selection,” in Los Alamos Conference on Optics, D. H. Liebenberg, ed., Proc. SPIE288, 129–135 (1981). [CrossRef]
  3. S.-M. F. Nee, “Polarization of specular reflection and near-specular scattering by a rough surface,” Appl. Opt. 35, 3570–3582 (1996). [CrossRef]
  4. S.-M. F. Nee, “Effects of near-specular scattering on polarimetry,” in Polarization Analysis and Measurement II, D. H. Goldstein, D. B. Chenault, eds., Proc. SPIE2265, 304–313 (1994). [CrossRef]
  5. S.-M. F. Nee, “The effects of incoherent scattering on ellipsometry,” in Polarization Analysis and Measurement, R. A. Chipman, D. H. Goldstein, eds., Proc. SPIE1746, 119–127 (1992). [CrossRef]
  6. S.-M. F. Nee, “Birefringence characterization using transmission ellipsometry,” in Polarization Analysis and Measurement, R. A. Chipman, D. H. Goldstein, eds., Proc. SPIE1746, 269–280 (1992). [CrossRef]
  7. A. Röseler, “Problem of polarization degree in spectroscopic photometric ellipsometry (polarimetry),” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 9, 1124–1131 (1992). [CrossRef]
  8. A. B. Kostinski, “Depolarization criterion for incoherent scattering,” Appl. Opt. 31, 3506–3508 (1992). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. E. S. Fry, G. W. Kattawar, “Relationships between elements of the Stokes matrix,” Appl. Opt. 20, 2811–2814 (1981). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. J. J. Gil, E. Bernabeu, “A depolarization criterion in Müller matrices,” Opt. Acta 32, 259–261 (1985). [CrossRef]
  11. R. Simon, “Mueller matrices and depolarization criteria,” J. Mod. Opt. 34, 569–575 (1987). [CrossRef]
  12. K. Kim, L. Mandel, E. Wolf, “Relationship between Jones and Mueller matrices for random media,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 4, 433–437 (1987). [CrossRef]
  13. C. R. Givens, A. B. Kostinski, “A simple necessary and sufficient condition for the physical realizability of Mueller matrices,” J. Mod. Opt. 40, 471–481 (1993). [CrossRef]
  14. S.-M. F. Nee, H. E. Bennett, “Characterization of optical blacks by infrared ellipsometry and reflectometry,” in Stray Radiation in Optical System, R. P. Breault, ed., Proc. SPIE1331, 249–260 (1990). [CrossRef]
  15. S.-M. F. Nee, “Ellipsometric view on reflection and scattering from optical blacks,” Appl. Opt. 31, 1549–1556 (1992). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. S.-M. F. Nee, J. M. Bennett, P. C. Archibald, “Reflection, scattering and polarization from very rough surfaces,” Optical Scattering: Applications, Measurement, and Theory II, J. C. Stover, ed., Proc. SPIE1995, 202–212 (1993). [CrossRef]
  17. S.-M. F. Nee, “Polarization characterization for target surfaces,” in Targets and Backgrounds: Characterization and Representation, W. R. Watkins, D. Clement, eds., Proc. SPIE2469, 220–230 (1995). [CrossRef]
  18. S.-M. F. Nee, P. C. Archibald, J. M. Bennett, D. K. Burge, T. W. Nee, C Yoo, “Polarization by rough painted surfaces,” presented at the Workshop on Infrared and Millimeter Wave Polarimetry, Dec. 5–7, 1995. Redstone Arsenal, Alabama; Proceedings published as Special Report RD-MG-96-8 (U.S. Army Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, 1996), pp. 527–542.
  19. R. A. Chipman, “Polarimetry,” in Handbook of Optics, (McGraw Hill, New York, 1995), Vol. II, Chap. 22.
  20. E. L. Church, P. Z. Takacs, “Subsurface and volume scattering from smooth surfaces,” in Scatter from Optical Components, J. C. Stover, ed., Proc. SPIE1165, 31–41 (1989). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited