Abstract

What is believed to be a novel phase-sensitive optical heterodyne interferometric ellipsometer is set up to characterize a twisted-nematic liquid crystal (TN-LC) by the elliptical parameters of the output polarization state. This ellipsometer presents the advantages of both polarized optical heterodyne interferometry and optical photometry, which introduce a polarization modulation that is capable of performing with high-sensitivity on phase detection in real time. The twist angle Φ and the untwisted phase retardation Γ of TN-LC are measured precisely. The experimental results verify that a TN-LC can be treated as identical to an elliptical retarder.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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