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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 20, Iss. 2 — Jan. 16, 2012
  • pp: 870–878

Ellipsometry with randomly varying polarization states

Feng Liu, Chris J. Lee, Juequan Chen, Eric Louis, Peter J. M. van der Slot, Klaus J. Boller, and Fred Bijkerk  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue 2, pp. 870-878 (2012)

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We show that, under the right conditions, one can make highly accurate polarization-based measurements without knowing the absolute polarization state of the probing light field. It is shown that light, passed through a randomly varying birefringent material has a well-defined orbit on the Poincar sphere, which we term a generalized polarization state, that is preserved. Changes to the generalized polarization state can then be used in place of the absolute polarization states that make up the generalized state, to measure the change in polarization due to a sample under investigation. We illustrate the usefulness of this analysis approach by demonstrating fiber-based ellipsometry, where the polarization state of the probe light is unknown, and, yet, the ellipsometric angles of the investigated sample (Ψ and Δ) are obtained with an accuracy comparable to that of conventional ellipsometry instruments by measuring changes to the generalized polarization state.

© 2012 OSA

OCIS Codes
(060.2270) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber characterization
(060.2420) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fibers, polarization-maintaining
(120.2130) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Ellipsometry and polarimetry
(340.7470) X-ray optics : X-ray mirrors

ToC Category:
Instrumentation, Measurement, and Metrology

Original Manuscript: November 11, 2011
Revised Manuscript: December 14, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: December 19, 2011
Published: January 3, 2012

Feng Liu, Chris J. Lee, Juequan Chen, Eric Louis, Peter J. M. van der Slot, Klaus J. Boller, and Fred Bijkerk, "Ellipsometry with randomly varying polarization states," Opt. Express 20, 870-878 (2012)

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