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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 10, Iss. 4 — Feb. 25, 2002
  • pp: 222–229

Effects of molecular asymmetry of optically active molecules on the polarization properties of multiply scattered light

I. Alex Vitkin, Richard D. Laszlo, and Claire L. Whyman  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 10, Issue 4, pp. 222-229 (2002)

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The use of polarized light for investigation of optically turbid systems has generated much recent interest since it has been shown that multiple scattering does not fully scramble the incident polarization states. It is possible under some conditions to measure polarization signals in diffusely scattered light, and use this information to characterize the structure or composition of the turbid medium. Furthermore, the idea of quantitative detection of optically active (chiral) molecules contained in such a system is attractive, particularly in clinical medicine where it may contribute to the development of a non-invasive method of glucose sensing in diabetic patients. This study uses polarization modulation and synchronous detection in the perpendicular and in the exact backscattering orientations to detect scattered light from liquid turbid samples containing varying amounts of L and D (left and right) isomeric forms of a chiral sugar. Polarization preservation increased with chiral concentrations in both orientations. In the perpendicular orientation, the optical rotation of the linearly polarized fraction also increased with the concentration of chiral solute, but in different directions for the two isomeric forms. There was no observed optical rotation in the exact backscattering geometry for either isomer. The presence of the chiral species is thus manifest in both detection directions, but the sense of the chiral asymmetry is not resolvable in retro-reflection. The experiments show that useful information may be extracted from turbid chiral samples using polarized light.

© Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(260.2130) Physical optics : Ellipsometry and polarimetry
(290.4210) Scattering : Multiple scattering

ToC Category:
Research Papers

Original Manuscript: January 7, 2002
Revised Manuscript: February 21, 2002
Published: February 25, 2002

I. Vitkin, Richard Laszlo, and Claire Whyman, "Effects of molecular asymmetry of optically active molecules on the polarization properties of multiply scattered light," Opt. Express 10, 222-229 (2002)

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