Abstract

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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