Snapshot polarimeter based on the conical refraction phenomenon

TitleSnapshot polarimeter based on the conical refraction phenomenon
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsPeinado, A, Lizana, A, Turpin, A, Estévez, I, Iemmi, C, Kalkandjiev, TK, Mompart, J, Campos, J

A complete and punctual Stokes polarimeter based on the conical refraction (CR) phenomenon is presented. The CR phenomenon occurs when light travels along one of the optical axes of a biaxial crystal (BC), leading to a bright ring of light at the focal plane of the system. We propose using the connection between the intensity pattern of the CR ring and the state of polarization (SOP) of the incident beam as a new tool for polarization metrology. In order to implement a complete polarimeter, the instrument is designed with a beam splitter and two BCs, one BC for each sub-beam. In the second sub-beam, a retarder is introduced before the BC, allowing us to measure the ellipticity content of the input SOP. The CR-based polarimeter presents several appealing features compared to standard polarimeters. To name some of them, CR polarimeters retrieve the SOP of an input beam with a single snapshot measurement, allow for substantially enhancing the data redundancy without increasing measuring time, and avoid instrumental errors related to rotating elements or active polarization devices. This work shows the instrument design, in particular the parameters of the set-up have been optimized in order to reduce the amplification of noise. Then, the experimental implementation of the instrument is detailed, including the experimental calibration of the system. Finally, the implemented polarimeter is experimentally tested by measuring different SOPs, including fully and partially polarized light.

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