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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A

| OPTICS, IMAGE SCIENCE, AND VISION

  • Vol. 22, Iss. 4 — Apr. 1, 2005
  • pp: 760–766

Stokes-parameter analysis of the polarization of light transmitted through a chiral nematic liquid-crystal cell

Kai L. Woon, Mary O'Neill, Gary J. Richards, Matthew P. Aldred, and Stephen M. Kelly  »View Author Affiliations


JOSA A, Vol. 22, Issue 4, pp. 760-766 (2005)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/JOSAA.22.000760


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Abstract

A spectroscopic Stokes polarimeter is used to directly measure the linearly, circularly, and randomly polarized components of light obtained on transmission of unpolarized light through thick chiral nematic liquid-crystal cells in the stop band. The Stokes parameters are simulated to fit the experimental data by use of the Berreman 4×4 transfer matrix by means of the Jones and Stokes vectors and taking into account multiple reflections at the interfaces of the cell. Excellent agreement is obtained. The transmitted light through a commercial cell is mainly circularly polarized at normal incidence, but a significant linearly polarized component is also observed. The model shows that this results from refractive-index mismatching at the liquid-crystal-alignment-layer interface, but a small linearly polarized component remains even with optimized index matching. An improved device configuration incorporating random defects at the exit boundary of the liquid crystal gives a highly circularly polarized output with virtually no linear or unpolarized components.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(160.3710) Materials : Liquid crystals
(230.3720) Optical devices : Liquid-crystal devices
(260.1440) Physical optics : Birefringence
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization

Citation
Kai L. Woon, Mary O'Neill, Gary J. Richards, Matthew P. Aldred, and Stephen M. Kelly, "Stokes-parameter analysis of the polarization of light transmitted through a chiral nematic liquid-crystal cell," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 22, 760-766 (2005)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/josaa/abstract.cfm?URI=josaa-22-4-760


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