Optical components manipulating both polarization and phase of wave fields find
more and more applications in today’s optical systems. In particular, the
polarization orientation may vary across the aperture. New measurement
techniques and evaluation algorithms are needed to simultaneously characterize
the properties of such elements. In this Letter, a general measurement algorithm
for locally linear polarization distributions is presented, extending the
methods of phase shifting interferometry to the simultaneous determination of
polarization and phase. A class of evaluation algorithms is derived, and some
example algorithms are described and tested for their resilience against
systematic and stochastic stepping errors.
© 2012 Optical Society of America
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