The two-wave-plate compensator (TWC) technique is introduced for single-point retardation measurements. The TWC method uses a known wave plate together with a wave plate of unknown retardation and produces a linearly polarized output that allows a null of intensity to be detected. The TWC method is compared both theoretically and experimentally with the existing Brace-Köhler and Sénarmont methods. The resolution of the TWC is shown to be 0.02 nm. TWC enables the measurement of a sample retardation with as little as 0.13% error and thus is more accurate than either the Brace-Köhler or the Sénarmont method.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
Carole C. Montarou and Thomas K. Gaylord, "Two-Wave-Plate Compensator Method for Single-Point Retardation Measurements," Appl. Opt. 43, 6580-6595 (2004)