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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 5, Iss. 5 — May. 1, 1988
  • pp: 681–689

General analysis and optimization of the four-detector photopolarimeter

R. M. A. Azzam, I. M. Elminyawi, and A. M. El-Saba  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 5, Issue 5, pp. 681-689 (1988)

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The four-detector photopolarimeter (FDP) is analyzed for an arbitrary spatial configuration and any reflection characteristics (ri, ψi, Δi,) of the first three detectors. The instrument matrix A, which relates the output signal vector I to the input Stokes vector S by I = AS, and its determinant are derived explicitly. The essential condition that A be nonsingular (det A ≠ 0) is satisfied in general with uncoated absorbing detector surfaces, assuming that the plane of incidence (POI) is rotated between successive reflections by other than 90°. Therefore no special coatings on the detectors are required, and a thin dielectric (e.g., thermal oxide) layer would suffice. The differential reflection phase shift Δ is unrestricted for the first and third detectors and has optimum values of ±90° for the second. The optimum rotation angles of the POI are ±45° and ±135°. The optimum values of the surface parameter ψ are 27.37°, 22.5° or 67.5°, and 0 or 90° for the first, second, and third reflections, respectively. The following topics are also considered: (1) the partition of energy among detectors, (2) the effect of tilting the last detector, (3) operation of the FDP over a broadband spectral range, (4) choice of the light-beam path, and (5) calibration.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: November 5, 1987
Manuscript Accepted: January 13, 1988
Published: May 1, 1988

R. M. A. Azzam, I. M. Elminyawi, and A. M. El-Saba, "General analysis and optimization of the four-detector photopolarimeter," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 5, 681-689 (1988)

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  1. See, for example, M. Born, E. Wolf, Principles of Optics (Pergamon, New York, 1975), p. 554.
  2. R. M. A. Azzam, “Arrangement of four photodetectors for measuring the state of polarization of light,” Opt. Lett. 10, 309–311 (1985);U.S. Patent4,681,450 (July21, 1987). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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  4. R. M. A. Azzam, N. M. Bashara, Ellipsometry and Polarized Light (North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1987).
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  7. R. M. A. Azzam, “In-line light-saving photopolarimeter and its fiber-optic analog,” Opt. Lett. 12, 558–560 (1987). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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  9. D. E. Aspnes, A. A. Studna, “Dielectric functions and optical parameters of Si, Ge, GaP, GaAs, GaSb, InP, InAs, and InSb from 1.5 to 6.0 eV,” Phys. Rev. B 27, 985–1009 (1983). [CrossRef]
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  11. See, for example, Ref. 4, Sec. 1.8.
  12. P. S. Hauge, “Mueller matrix ellipsometry with imperfect compensators,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 68, 1519–1528 (1978). [CrossRef]
  13. See, for example, Ref. 4, Sec. 3.9.1.

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