Abstract

We present an analysis for polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography that facilitates the unrestricted use of fiber and fiber-optic components throughout an interferometer and yields sample birefringence, diattenuation, and relative optic axis orientation. We use a novel Jones matrix approach that compares the polarization states of light reflected from the sample surface with those reflected from within a biological sample for pairs of depth scans. The incident polarization alternated between two states that are perpendicular in a Poincaré sphere representation to ensure proper detection of tissue birefringence regardless of optical fiber contributions. The method was validated by comparing the calculated diattenuation of a polarizing sheet, chicken tendon, and muscle with that obtained by independent measurement. The relative importance of diattenuation versus birefringence to angular displacement of Stokes vectors on a Poincaré sphere was quantified.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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