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Appl Opt. 2004 Dec 1;43(34):6248-54.

Polariscope for simultaneous measurement of the principal axis and the phase retardation by use of two phase-locked extractions.

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  • 1Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan. loyl@mail.ncku.edu.tw


A novel polariscope with electro-optic modulation that is capable of simultaneous measurement of the principal axis and the phase retardation of an optical linear birefringent medium by means of two phase-locked extractions is described. A phase compensator is used to suppress the transmission phase-retardation effect of the beam splitter, thereby enhancing the precision of the measuring performance. The validity of the proposed design is demonstrated by measurement of the principal axis and phase retardation of a quarter-wave plate sample. There are absolute errors of 0.25 degrees on average and 0.58 degrees at maximum in the principal-axis measurement and of 0.75 degrees (0.83%) on average and 3.11 degrees at maximum in the phase-retardation measurement. Meanwhile, the retardation error lies within a 5% uncertainty range of a commercial wave plate. The root-mean-square resolutions for the principal-axis angle and phase-retardation measurements are 0.042 degrees and 0.081 degrees, respectively. Finally, the dynamic ranges of the principal-axis angle measurement and the phase-retardation measurement extend as far as 180 degrees.

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