A method for measuring birefringence by use of thermal-light polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography is presented. The use of thermal light brings to polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography a resolution in the micrometer range in three dimensions. The instrument is based on a Linnik interference microscope and makes use of achromatic quarter-wave plates. A mathematical representation of the instrument is presented here, and the detection scheme is described, together with a discussion of the validity domain of the equations used to evaluate the birefringence in the presence of white-light illumination.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: September 13, 2002
Revised Manuscript: January 28, 2003
Published: July 1, 2003
Julien Moreau, Vincent Loriette, and Albert-Claude Boccara, "Full-field birefringence imaging by thermal-light polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography. I. Theory," Appl. Opt. 42, 3800-3810 (2003)