Abstract

We describe an instrument for measuring the magnitude of birefringence of tomographic images and the principal directions of axes that uses thermal-light polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography. The instrument permits full-field measurements with an axial resolution of 1.5 μm and a transverse resolution limited by diffraction. We obtained a sensitivity of 84 dB, limited by shot noise, when we integrated the signal for 1 s. We verified the validity of the measurement by measuring the birefringence of a variable phase shifter. We present typical results obtained with optical samples.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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