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Proceedings Paper

Measuring the spatial distribution of liquid crystal alignment and retardation using stokes polarimetry
Author(s): Yannick Folwill; Hans Zappe
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Paper Abstract

We present a method to determine the two-dimensional spatial distribution of alignment as well as retardation of a nematic liquid crystal layer. Recently-developed novel alignment techniques for liquid crystals enable the definition of arbitrary spatial alignment patterns, which can then be used to shape optical beams for applications such as q-plates or diffractive optical elements. In order to quantify the alignment quality, a measurement method to determine the alignment of the major axis of the liquid crystals (between 0° and 180° ) with high spatial resolution over a large two-dimensional area is essential. Our approach is based on measuring the change in polarization of light that occurs on passing through a liquid crystal film. We then show a method to deduce the alignment direction and the retardation of the film from the change in polarization. To demonstrate the capabilities of this method, we measure specific alignment patterns that are difficult to quantify unambiguously with other methods.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 April 2020
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 11352, Optics and Photonics for Advanced Dimensional Metrology, 113520U (1 April 2020); doi: 10.1117/12.2552931
Show Author Affiliations
Yannick Folwill, Univ. of Freiburg (Germany)
Hans Zappe, Univ. of Freiburg (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11352:
Optics and Photonics for Advanced Dimensional Metrology
Peter J. de Groot; Richard K. Leach; Pascal Picart, Editor(s)

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