Abstract

Optical polarimetry is used in pharmaceutical drug testing and quality control for saccharide-containing products (juice, honey). More recently, it has been proposed as a method for noninvasive glucose sensing for diabetic patients. Sagnac interferometry is commonly used in optical gyroscopes, measuring minute Doppler shifts resulting from mechanical rotation. In this work, we demonstrate that Sagnac interferometers are also sensitive to optical rotation, or the rotation of linearly polarized light, and are therefore useful in optical polarimetry. Results from simulation and experiment show that Sagnac interferometers are advantageous in optical polarimetry as they are insensitive to net linear birefringence and alignment of polarization components.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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