We describe an instrument for measuring the magnitude of birefringence of tomographic images and the principal directions of axes that uses thermal-light polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography. The instrument permits full-field measurements with an axial resolution of 1.5 μm and a transverse resolution limited by diffraction. We obtained a sensitivity of 84 dB, limited by shot noise, when we integrated the signal for 1 s. We verified the validity of the measurement by measuring the birefringence of a variable phase shifter. We present typical results obtained with optical samples.
© 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. II. Instrument and results," Appl. Opt. 42, 3811-3818 (2003)