M.A.Geday, W.Kaminsky, J.G.Lewis, A.M.Glazer: Images of absolute retardation L×Dn, using the rotating polariser method. J. of Microscopy 198 (2000) 1-9.
Modulation techniques for measuring changes in optical birefringence, such as the rotating-polariser method (Wood and Glazer, 1980, J. Appl. Crystallogr. 13, 217) allow one to determine |sind| d=2(pi)L(Delta)n/(lambda), (Delta)n = double refraction, L = light path and (lambda) = wavelength. However, they generally suffer from not providing absolute values of the optical retardance or are limited to relatively low retardance values. In addition, knowledge of the absolute phase is required when establishing the correct values of optical orientation information. In this paper, it is shown how the phase d, and thus optical retardance, can be extracted from measurements of |sind| at different wavelenghts. The new approach works on each single point of a 2-D picture without the need to correlate with neighbouring points. There is virtually no limit to the retardance, and the computational efforts are small compared with other methods (Ajovalasit, Barone and Petrucci 1998 J. Strain Analysis 33, 75). When used with imaging techniques, such as the rotating polarizer method of Glazer, Lewis and Kaminsky, 1996 (Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A 452, 2751) this process has the potential to identify automatically optically anisotropic substances under the microscope. The algorithm derived in this paper is valid not only for birefringence studies, but can be applied to all studies of interfering light waves.
Get a PDF-file of the paper