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Polarization-sensitive low-coherence reflectometer for birefringence characterization and ranging

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Abstract

We present a polarization-sensitive optical coherence-domain reflectometer capable of characterizing the phase retardation between orthogonal linear polarization modes at each reflection point in a birefringent sample. The device is insensitive to the rotation of the sample in the plane perpendicular to ranging. Phase measurement accuracy is ±0.86°, but the reflectometer can distinguish local variations in birefringence as small as 0.05° with a distance resolution of 10.8 μm and a dynamic range of 90 dB. Birefringence-sensitive ranging in a wave plate, an electro-optic modulator, and a calf coronary artery is demonstrated.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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