There is a phase difference between s and p polarizations when a circularly polarized heterodyne light beam is reflected from a birefringent crystal. It can be measured accurately with a common-path heterodyne interferometric technique. We have derived an equation that describes the relationship between the phase differences and n e , n o , and α. Two groups of solutions for (n e , n o ) can be obtained from this equation by the phase measurements performed at three incident angles under moderate conditions. Each group consists of three pairs of solutions for (n e , n o ). Finally, by justifying with physical conditions, we obtained the correct solution for (n e , n o ). Azimuth angle α of the birefringent crystal optical axis can also be determined. And the feasibility of this method is demonstrated.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: June 22, 2001
Revised Manuscript: December 4, 2001
Published: July 1, 2002
Der-Chin Su and Cheng-Chih Hsu, "Method for determining the optical axis and (ne, no) of a birefringent crystal," Appl. Opt. 41, 3936-3940 (2002)