In this paper, we describe the design, modeling, fabrication, and optical characterization of the first micropolarimeter array enabling full Stokes polarization imaging in visible spectrum. The proposed micropolarimeter is fabricated by patterning a liquid-crystal (LC) layer on top of a visible-regime metal-wire-grid polarizer (MWGP) using ultraviolet sensitive sulfonic-dye-1 as the LC photoalignment material. This arrangement enables the formation of either micrometer-scale LC polarization rotators, neutral density filters or quarter wavelength retarders. These elements are in turn exploited to acquire all components of the Stokes vector, which describes all possible polarization states of light. Reported major principal transmittance of 75% and extinction ratio of 1100 demonstrate that the MWGP’s superior optical characteristics are retained. The proposed liquid-crystal micropolarimeter array can be integrated on top of a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor for real-time full Stokes polarization imaging.
© 2010 Optical Society of America
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