Polarization microscopy of magnetic domains for magneto-optical disks

Wei Hung Yeh, James Carriere, M. Mansuripur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Polarization microscopes are widely used to image the magnetic domains of a magneto-optical disk and to characterize the birefringence of the disk substrate. For high-resolution imaging, unfortunately, the coupling of the polarization rotation from the Kerr signal, the effect of Fresnel’s reflection coefficients, and the substrate birefringence severely deteriorate the image contrast obtained from conventional observations. Here we present the technique of differential polarization microscopy, which replaces the analyzer with a Wollaston prism, for providing better image contrast. Images of a magnetic pattern obtained with both conventional and differential methods are observed for objective lenses that have different numerical apertures and magneto-optical disks with and without a birefringent substrate. The computer simulations and experimental results show that the use of this differential method improves the image contrast and provides excellent tolerance for defects of the optical system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3749-3758
Number of pages10
JournalApplied optics
Issue number17
StatePublished - Jun 10 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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