We describe a polarization Sagnac interferometer with an in-loop half-wave plate that allows signal detection at the reciprocal port of the beam splitter while maintaining the ability to detect the signal at a dark fringe. Postmodulation and balanced heterodyne detection are used to recover the signal. This topology is simple to control because of its common-path characteristics and its collinear signal and local oscillator. The robustness of this scheme to amplitude and frequency fluctuations of the laser is demonstrated. Intraloop birefringence in this interferometer acts as a loss, reducing the power on the detector. The magnitude of this loss is discussed and experimentally verified.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
(120.2130) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Ellipsometry and polarimetry
(120.3180) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Interferometry
(120.5050) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Phase measurement
(120.5790) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Sagnac effect
Peter T. Beyersdorf, M. M. Fejer, and R. L. Byer, "Polarization Sagnac interferometer with postmodulation for gravitational-wave detection," Opt. Lett. 24, 1112-1114 (1999)