Abstract

A division-of-amplitude photopolarimeter that uses a parallel-slab multiple-reflection beam splitter was described recently [Opt. Lett. 21, 1709 (1996)]. We provide a general analysis and an optimization of a specific design that uses a fused-silica slab that is uniformly coated with a transparent thin film of ZnS on the front surface and with an opaque Ag or Au reflecting layer on the back. Multiple internal reflections within the slab give rise to a set of parallel, equispaced, reflected beams numbered 0, 1, 2, and 3 that are intercepted by photodetectors D 0, D 1, D 2, and D 3, respectively, to produce output electrical signals i 0, i 1, i 2, and i 3, respectively. The instrument matrix A, which relates the output-signal vector I to the input Stokes vector S by I = AS, and its determinant D are analyzed. The instrument matrix A is nonsingular; hence all four Stokes parameters can be measured simultaneously over a broad spectral range (UV–VIS–IR). The optimum film thickness, the optimum angle of incidence, and the effect of light-beam deviation on the measured input Stokes parameters are considered.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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