A photopolarimeter based on two different kinds of diffraction gratings (a two-grating photopolarimeter) has been developed for real-time measurements of the four elements of the Stokes vector. The main elements of the device are a pure polarization grating and an ordinary transmission grating, both recorded by means of holographic techniques in thin films of organic materials. The first one consists of a diffraction grating recorded by two interfering opposite circularly polarized beams in a Langmuir–Blodgett film of an azo-compound material. The second component is a grating recorded by two interfering parallel circularly polarized beams in a thin film of a photosensitive polymer. Both gratings offer long time stability and good diffraction efficiency. Four photodiodes collect the first-order diffracted beams from these gratings, the output signals of which are read through an analog-to-digital converter by a PC. The optical alignment of the device is easy and the calibration is realized in a one-step procedure.
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