To characterize the linear birefringence of a multiple-order wave plate (MWP), an oblique incidence is one of the methods available. Multiple reflections in the MWP are produced, and oscillations in the phase retardation measurement versus the oblique incident angle are then measured. Therefore, an antireflection coated MWP is required to avoid oscillation of the phase retardation measurement. In this study, we set up a phase-sensitive heterodyne ellipsometer to measure the phase retardations of an uncoated MWP versus the oblique incident angle, which was scanned in the x–z plane and y–z plane independently. Thus, the effect on multiple reflections by the MWP is reduced by means of subtracting the two measured phase retardations from each other. As a result, a highly sensitive and accurate measurement of retardation parameters (RPs), which includes the refractive indices of the extraordinary ray
and ordinary ray
, is obtained by this method. On measurement, a sensitivity
was achieved by this experiment setup. At the same time, the spatial shifting of the P and S
waves emerging from the MWP introduced a deviation between experimental results and the theoretical calculation.
© 2007 Optical Society of America
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