We describe a new method of modeling electro-optic (EO) devices, such as lanthanum-modified lead zirconate titanate polarization modulators, that resolves two deficiencies of current methods: (i) the inclusion of depolarization effects resulting from scattering and (ii) saturation of the EO response at strong electric-field strengths. Our approach to modeling depolarization is based on describing the transmitted optical field by superposition of a deterministic polarized wave and a scattered, randomly polarized, stochastic wave. Corresponding Jones matrices are used to derive a Mueller matrix to describe the wave propagation in scattering and depolarizing EO media accurately. A few simple optical measurements can be used to find the nonlinear behavior of the EO phase function, which is shown to describe accurately the material’s EO behavior for weak and strong applied electric fields.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
(080.2730) Geometric optics : Matrix methods in paraxial optics
(160.2100) Materials : Electro-optical materials
(190.3270) Nonlinear optics : Kerr effect
(190.5890) Nonlinear optics : Scattering, stimulated
(260.2130) Physical optics : Ellipsometry and polarimetry
Paul E. Shames, Pang Chen Sun, and Yeshaiahu Fainman, "Modeling of Scattering and Depolarizing Electro-Optic Devices. I. Characterization of Lanthanum-Modified Lead Zirconate Titanate," Appl. Opt. 37, 3717-3725 (1998)