Abstract

In the field of polarimetry, ferroelectric liquid crystal cells are mostly used as bistable polarization rotators suitable to analyze crossed polarizations. This paper shows that, provided such a cell is used at its nominal wavelength and correctly driven, its behavior is close to that of a tunable half-wave plate, and it can be used with much benefit in lightweight imaging polarimetric setups. A partial Stokes polarimeter using a single digital video camera and a single ferroelectric liquid crystal modulator is designed and implemented for linear polarization analysis. Polarization azimuthal angle and degree of linear polarization are available at 150 frames per second with a good accuracy.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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