Abstract

We propose an interferometric spectral multiplexing method for measuring birefringent specimens with simple configuration and high sensitivity. The retardation and orientation of sample birefringence are simultaneously encoded onto two spectral carrier waves, generated interferometrically by a birefringent crystal through polarization mixing. A single interference spectrum hence contains sufficient information for birefringence determination, eliminating the need for mechanical rotation or electrical modulation. The technique is analyzed theoretically and validated experimentally on cellulose film. System simplicity permits the possibility of mitigating system birefringence background. Further analysis demonstrates the technique’s exquisite sensitivity as high as 20pm for retardation measurement.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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