Optical EngineeringOptimization of rapid Mueller matrix imaging of turbid media using four photoelastic modulators without mechanically moving parts
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A new method based on four photoelastic modulators (PEMs) and a charged couple device (CCD) camera, to rapidly image the samples’ entire Mueller matrix, is proposed and optimized. The full imaging of Mueller matrix elements using time-gated technique synchronized with the four PEMs’ modulation is demonstrated. Evolutionary algorithm is employed to choose the 16 time points, from which the Mueller matrix elements can be recovered with minimized sensitivity to noise. The suitability of several configurations of four PEMs with different frequencies and optical axes for the proposed imaging method is discussed through numerical examples. The ability to perform Mueller matrix imaging in the millisecond range with improved SNR in the absence of mechanically moving parts should prove advantageous in polarimetric characterization of biological tissues.