Abstract

The design, the construction, and the testing of a division-of-amplitude photopolarimeter (DOAP) introduced by Azzam [ Opt. Acta 29, 685 ( 1982); Opt. Acta 32, 767 ( 1985)] are described. The DOAP can perform time-resolved measurements of all four Stokes parameters of arbitrarily polarized light. The instrument was calibrated and tested at 632.8- and 1523-nm laser wavelengths. The mean deviations of the measured Stokes vectors from ideal polarization-state generator curves were less than 1% at 632.8 nm and less than 4% at 1523 nm. The larger deviations at 1523 nm resulted from larger imperfections in the quarter-wave plate used in the polarization-state generator. The results of instrument calibration methods introduced by Azzam et al. [ Rev. Sci. Instrum. 59, 84 ( 1988); J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 6, 1513 ( 1989)] are presented and discussed. The DOAP has been used to study light scattering by rough surfaces and to carry out conventional, generalized, and Mueller matrix ellipsometry.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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