Abstract

A method for polarization metrology based on the conical refraction (CR) phenomenon, occurring in biaxial crystals, is reported. CR transforms an input Gaussian beam into a light ring whose intensity distribution is linked to the incoming polarization. We present the design of a division-of-amplitude complete polarimeter composed of two biaxial crystals, whose measurement principle is based on the CR phenomenon. This design corresponds to a static polarimeter, that is, without mechanical movements or electrical signal addressing. Only one division-of-amplitude device is required, besides the two biaxial crystals, to completely characterize any state of polarization, including partially polarized and unpolarized states. In addition, a mathematical model describing the system is included. Experimental images of the intensity distribution related to different input polarization states are provided. These intensity patterns are compared with simulated values, proving the potential of polarimeters based on biaxial crystals.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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