A multi-domain full-Stokes polarization modulator that is efficient for 300-2500nm spectropolarimetry

Frans Snik, Gerard Van Harten, Andrey S. Alenin, Israel J. Vaughn, J. S. Tyo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

19 Scopus citations


We present the design and prototyping results for an ultra-wideband rotating polarization modulator that consists of a stack of quartz plates. The plate thicknesses and orientations were optimized such that after rotation of the modulator to 6 different angles before a polarization analyzer, the full Stokes vector can be optimally determined at all wavelengths from 300 to 2500 nm. Additional optimization parameters include minimal variation of the retardance with incidence angle and temperature, and the suppression of polarized spectral fringes for a spectral resolution of 10,000. The prototype modulator's design was re-optimized after the production and measurement of each individual quartz plate. We present the performance of the as-built prototype. To eliminate aliasing with inherent temporal variations of the source, the modulator can be used together with a polarizing beam-splitter (ual-beam approach). Because of the large sinusoidal spectral variations of the polarization modulation, this modulator can also be considered a spectral modulator for channeled spectropolarimetry. Therefore, at each modulation state, spectrally resolved polarization information can also be extracted directly, although at limited spectral resolution. We use this modulator as an example of a multi-domain polarization modulator, and outline a general approach for optimally storing polarization information in all available measurement dimensions (temporal, spatial, spectral), and rendering the overall polarization measurement independent from systematic effects in any of these dimensions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPolarization Science and Remote Sensing VII
EditorsJoseph A. Shaw, Daniel A. LeMaster
ISBN (Electronic)9781628417791
StatePublished - 2015
EventPolarization Science and Remote Sensing VII - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 11 2015Aug 12 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherPolarization Science and Remote Sensing VII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • polarimetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'A multi-domain full-Stokes polarization modulator that is efficient for 300-2500nm spectropolarimetry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this