Abstract

The two-wave-plate compensator (TWC) method is expanded for full-field retardation measurements by use of a polarization microscope. The sample image is projected onto a CCD camera connected to a computer, allowing the retardation to be measured at all pixels. The retardation accuracy of this implementation of the TWC is evaluated to be 0.06nm. The method is applied to polarization-maintaining fibers and long-period fiber gratings. The measured retardation is in good agreement with the crossed-polarizer images of the fibers. The method achieves a spatial resolution of 0.45µm and a retardation resolution of 0.07nm. The full-field TWC method can thus be a useful tool for characterizing and monitoring the fabrication of optical devices.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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