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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 50, Iss. 12 — Apr. 20, 2011
  • pp: 1726–1734

Polarization state generator: a polarimeter calibration standard

Anna-Britt Mahler and Russell A. Chipman  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 50, Issue 12, pp. 1726-1734 (2011)

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A polarization state generator (PSG) was built to generate light having a degree of linear polarization (DoLP) varying from 0.0005 to 0.4 with 0.0005 uncertainty. The PSG operates by tilting a plane parallel SF11 glass plate in a nearly unpolarized beam. The DoLP of collimated, unpolarized light passing through a plane parallel plate over a defined range of field angles can be calculated from theory, and the PSG was intended to act as a calibration standard based on this calculation. Several effects make the DoLP distribution as a function of field and tilt plate difficult to model to the desired 0.0005 uncertainty: source DoLP and intensity nonuniformity, lens surface diattenuation, and errors in optical alignment. Because of these effects, modeled DoLP was not used as a standard. Instead, DoLP was characterized with repeatability of 0.0005.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.4800) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Optical standards and testing
(120.5410) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Polarimetry
(220.2945) Optical design and fabrication : Illumination design

ToC Category:
Instrumentation, Measurement, and Metrology

Original Manuscript: November 5, 2010
Revised Manuscript: February 26, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: February 28, 2011
Published: April 14, 2011

Anna-Britt Mahler and Russell A. Chipman, "Polarization state generator: a polarimeter calibration standard," Appl. Opt. 50, 1726-1734 (2011)

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