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

Michael R. Hee, David Huang, Eric A. Swanson, James G. Fujimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

663 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)903-908
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America B: Optical Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics


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