Abstract

We present what we believe to be a new digital holographic imaging method that is able to determine simultaneously the distributions of intensity, phase, and polarization state at the surface of a specimen on the basis of a single image acquisition. Two reference waves with orthogonal polarization states interfere with the object wave to create a hologram that is recorded on a CCD camera. Two wave fronts, one for each perpendicular polarization state, are numerically reconstructed in intensity and phase. Combining the intensity and the phase distributions of these two wave fronts permits the determination of all the components of the Jones vector of the object-wave front. We show that this method can be used to image and measure the distribution of the polarization state at the surface of a specimen, and the obtained results indicate that precise quantitative measurements of the polarization state can be achieved. An application of the method to image the birefringence of a stressed polymethyl methacrylate sample is presented.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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