Abstract

The first demonstration, to the best of our knowledge, of electro-optical microscopy is presented and applied to a polymer-based optical device. A confocal transmission microscope with interferometric homodyne detection is implemented to measure Pockels phase shifts with micrometric spatial resolution and an accuracy level down to 4×107rad. This technique is applied to poled polymer films in which noncentrosymmetric molecular orientation is preliminarily achieved in the sample plane between transverse planar electrodes. The electro-optic mapping of this structure exhibits nonuniform and asymmetric patterns of the nonlinear response that are characteristic of the poling spatial inhomogeneity as confirmed by second-harmonic generation microscopy.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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