Abstract

We present a novel, to our knowledge, fiber-based single-channel polarization-sensitive spectral interferometry system that provides depth-resolved measurement of polarization transformations of light reflected from a sample. Algebraic expressions for the Stokes parameters at the output of the interferometer are derived for light reflected from a birefringent sample by using the cross-spectral density function. By insertion of a fiber-optic spectral polarimetry instrument into the detection path of a common-path spectral interferometer, the full set of Stokes parameters of light reflected from a sample can be obtained with a single optical frequency scan. The methodology requires neither polarization-control components nor prior knowledge of the polarization state of light incident on the sample. The fiber-based single-channel polarization-sensitive spectral interferometer and analysis are demonstrated by measurement of phase retardation and fast-axis angle of a birefringent mica plate.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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