Abstract

An exact analysis of the working parameters of a modified Wollaston prism is presented. Parameters include the output splitting angle, the retardation, and the location of the plane of the interference fringes (plane of apparent splitting). Results are presented for the entire range of optical axis inclinations and wedge angles. Approximate expressions from the literature are evaluated. An angle of incidence that causes the plane of the interference fringes to be perpendicular to the axis of the optical system is found for each configuration analyzed. This is then applied to the design of modified Wollaston prisms for Nomarski differential interference contrast microscopy.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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