It is well known that polarization can be potentially distorted by optical elements in optical paths, which intensively influences researches and techniques related to polarization analysis. For this, we proposed to exactly quantify the polarization properties of non-depolarizing optical elements with virtual distorting elements characterized by three parameters: orientation , diattenuation , and retardation . Utilizing the least-squares fitting method, these three parameters can be determined by fitting the measured output polarization states from the optical element with the polarization responses of VDEs. The principle of this method is detailed, and a corresponding experimental setup is further presented. The feasibility of this method has been verified in reflective mirrors and a dichroic mirror. Based on the quantification results with our setup, we have successfully compensated the polarization distortion induced by a dichroic mirror. The precision of this method has been investigated in detail with Monte Carlo simulations. The investigation results show that this method has high precision at certain measurement conditions, and the precision can be further improved.
© 2017 Optical Society of AmericaFull Article | PDF Article
11 May 2017: A correction was made to the author list.
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