Abstract

The scope of this work is to present a phase demodulator that enables the recovery of temporal phase information contained in the phase difference between two signals with different polarizations. This demodulator is a polarization interferometer that may consist only of a uniaxial crystal slab and a polarizer sheet. The phase shift between two orthogonal components of the electric field is translated into space by means of birefringent crystals, which act as demodulators or phase analyzers with great robustness. The experimental scheme utilized is based on a simple conoscopic interference setup. Each portion of the space in which the interference pattern is projected contains not only the unknown temporal phase we want to recover, but also a phase shift due to the uniaxial crystal itself. The underlying idea is developing simultaneous phase shifting with uniaxial crystals. Thus, different phase recovery techniques can be applied in order to maximize their ability to track high-speed signals. Depending on the characteristics of the fringe pattern, it will permit phase recovery via different classical procedures. In order to prove the demodulator under different experimental and signal processing schemes, we employed it for wave plate characterization. The results obtained not only allow some wave plate features such as axes determination and retardance to be characterized, but also prove the working principle and capabilities of the demodulator.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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