Differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy is shown to be equivalent to an incomplete Stokes polarimeter capable of probing optical properties of materials on microscopic-length scales. The Mueller matrix for a DIC microscope is calculated for various types of samples, and the polarimetric properties for DIC component parts of a spaceflight microscope are spectrally measured. As a practical application, a measurement of the index mismatch between colloidal particles and a nearly index-matched fluid bath was performed.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
(120.2130) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Ellipsometry and polarimetry
(120.5410) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Polarimetry
(180.0180) Microscopy : Microscopy
(230.5440) Optical devices : Polarization-selective devices
Andrew Resnick, "Differential Interference Contrast Microscopy as a Polarimetric Instrument," Appl. Opt. 41, 38-45 (2002)