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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 15, Iss. 18 — Sep. 3, 2007
  • pp: 11234–11240

Polarization-Conversion Guided Mode (PCGM) technique for exploring thin anisotropic surface layers

Fuzi Yang, Lizhen Ruan, and J. R. Sambles  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 15, Issue 18, pp. 11234-11240 (2007)

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A Polarization-Conversion Guided Mode (PCGM) technique has been developed to quantify optical anisotropy as low as 10-5 for a surface layer only 10 nm thick. The optical geometry consists of an index-fluid matched prism-coupler and an air-gap waveguide comprising the thin sample on a glass plate as the incident surface with a gold reflector forming the other surface of the guide. This allows non-destructive characterization of the optical anisotropy of surface layers. The polarization conversion signal is extraordinarily sensitive. Thus the influence of the polarization purity of the incoming beam, very small twists and/or tilts between the normal to the prism bottom surface and the sample plane, have all been analyzed in detail to allow extraction of the sought for information about the thin layer. Rubbed polyimide thin films and incline-evaporated SiOx layers, both used for liquid crystal alignment, have been examined by this PCGM technique to demonstrate its power.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(230.7370) Optical devices : Waveguides
(240.0310) Optics at surfaces : Thin films
(260.1180) Physical optics : Crystal optics
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization

ToC Category:
Optics at Surfaces

Original Manuscript: June 1, 2007
Revised Manuscript: July 23, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: July 26, 2007
Published: August 21, 2007

Fuzi Yang, Lizhen Ruan, and John R. Sambles, "Polarization-Conversion Guided Mode (PCGM) technique for exploring thin anisotropic surface layers," Opt. Express 15, 11234-11240 (2007)

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