Abstract

A full-field technique for simultaneous measurement of the magnitude of birefringence and its orientation is presented. This is achieved using a monolithic birefringence sensitive interferometer where the interference fringes carry the information of both the birefringence phase and the orientation of the fast axis of an optically transmissive anisotropic material placed at the output of the interferometer. The interferometer consists of a suitably polarization-masked cube beam splitter, orientated as in the Gates interferometer, which serves to generate a pair of orthogonally polarized and collinearly propagating light beams. Experimental results are obtained through an algorithm incorporating eight polarization phase-shifted interferograms.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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