Abstract

The road maps presented provide several options to detect and identify biological and chemical materials based on the appropriate measurements of specific Mueller matrix elements. The optical activity of these chiral materials (birefringence, retardation, diattenuation, optical rotation, circular dichroism, and cross polarization) are represented by ellipses associated with the like and cross polarized components of the reflected waves due to vertical and horizontal linearly polarized incident waves. It is also represented by ellipses associated with optical rotation and circular dichroism. These measurements can be made in situ over large areas of the samples. Only one pair of measurements is necessary to provide the data to identify the biological or chemical materials. However the redundancy in the series of measurements that can be made can be used to confirm the veracity of the results and to minimize the occurrences of false alarms. This research has numerous applications in biomedicine, biochemistry, defense, security, and industry.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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