The linear errors of Mueller matrix measurements are formulated for misalignment, depolarization, and incorrect retardation of the polarimetric components. The measured errors of a Mueller matrix depend not only on the imperfections of the measuring system but also on the Mueller matrix itself. The error matrices for different polarimetric systems are derived and also evaluated for the straight-through case. The error matrix for a polarizer–sample–analyzer system is much simpler than those for more complicated systems. The general error matrix is applied to null ellipsometry, and the obtained errors in ellipsometric parameters ψ and Δ are identical to the errors specifically derived for null ellipsometry with depolarization.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
(120.2130) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Ellipsometry and polarimetry
(120.4800) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Optical standards and testing
(120.5410) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Polarimetry
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization
Soe-Mie F. Nee, "Error analysis for Mueller matrix measurement," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 20, 1651-1657 (2003)