Abstract

We demonstrate an automated polarimeter based on a rotating polarizer for the measurement of linear retardance independent of laser power and detector gain. The retardance is found when a curve is fitted to a unique normalization of the intensity response of the polarimeter over a range of input polarizer orientations. The performance of this polarimeter is optimal for measurements of quarter-wave retardance and minimal for half-wave retardance. Uncertainties are demonstrated by measurements on six stable double Fresnel rhombs of nominal quarter-wave retardance, yielding expanded uncertainties between0.031° and 0.067°. The accuracy has also been verified by blind comparisons with interferometric and modified null retardance measurement techniques.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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