A nondestructive method based on spectroscopic ellipsometry has been developed and demonstrated for the real-time measurement of a single pulp fiber's microfibril angle and phase retardation, with the latter proportional to the cell wall thickness. The method uses an optical arrangement insensitive to the sample's orientation in combination with a proper spectral analysis of the sample's image. The optical arrangement and the measurement principle of the method are described. To test the new method, equipment functioning as a spectroscopic imaging ellipsometer was constructed according to the arrangement, and measurements were carried out in which single pulp fibers and ordinary wave plates were measured. The test measurements and results are described and presented.
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