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Full-field birefringence imaging by thermal-light polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography. I. Theory

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Abstract

A method for measuring birefringence by use of thermal-light polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography is presented. The use of thermal light brings to polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography a resolution in the micrometer range in three dimensions. The instrument is based on a Linnik interference microscope and makes use of achromatic quarter-wave plates. A mathematical representation of the instrument is presented here, and the detection scheme is described, together with a discussion of the validity domain of the equations used to evaluate the birefringence in the presence of white-light illumination.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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