Abstract

We present a generalized analysis of fiber-based polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography with an emphasis on determination of sample optic axis orientation. The polarization properties of a fiber-based system can cause an overall rotation in a Poincaré sphere representation such that the plane of possible measured sample optic axes for linear birefringence and diattenuation no longer lies in the QU-plane. The optic axis orientation can be recovered as an angle on this rotated plane, subject to an offset and overall indeterminacy in sign such that only the magnitude, but not the direction, of a change in orientation can be determined. We discuss the accuracy of optic axis determination due to a fundamental limit on the accuracy with which a polarization state can be determined as a function of signal-to-noise ratio.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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