Novel Polarimetry Techniques
MetadataShow full item record
Polarization specific measurements are advancing the capabilities of scientific instruments looking for ever smaller effects and material parameters. For example, the magneto-optical nonlinear Faraday effect can be used to characterize various electric and magnetic polarizability parameters of an individual molecule. Another major application is detection of desired particles in a highly scattering environment, the physical effect of which has been extensively researched, and is being overcome by using time-gated and polarization techniques. The polarimeter sensitivity is limited by the extinction-ratio obtained from polarizers. Of available polarizer materials, naturally occurring Calcite crystals provide the best extinction ratios because of their good optical homogeneity and high birefringence. However, there is a need for polarization determination with higher sensitivities, and thus a necessity to find better polarizing materials and methods. I developed a next-generation polarimeter in an attempt to sensitively detect the second-order Faraday effect, along with a substance s chirality and Verdet constant. Also, I developed a device uniquely able to sensitively detect chiral signatures in the presence of massive depolarizing scattering. In addition, I begun developing a novel type of polarimeter based on the highly-polarization-sensitive nonlinear-optical process of harmonic generation, whose required crystals can be grown with extremely high quality.