We show experimentally and theoretically that heating of highly transparent materials by continuous-wave pump beams induces strong optical anisotropy for probe beams in primarily optically isotropic configurations. This is due to a uniaxial thermally induced strain and the elasto-optic effect. The cases of glasses and lithium niobate crystals are considered. The discovered effect is important for the development of techniques aimed at the analysis of absorptive properties of transparent optical materials.
© 2014 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: May 9, 2014
Manuscript Accepted: May 25, 2014
Published: June 24, 2014
S. Fieberg, B. Sturman, F. Kühnemann, and K. Buse, "Strong polarization effects in photothermal common-path interferometry," Opt. Lett. 39, 3880-3883 (2014)