Advanced Optical Technologies Research and Development in Physical Optics

Optical Component Testing

AOT applies its optical- and laser-based metrology facilities and expertise to optical component testing. A current focus area is elevating specification standards for commercial polarization optics. AOT’s expertise in both polarization metrology and sensor development provides a unique perspective on developer needs, in terms of component specifications, versus what vendors currently provide. Device and sensor designers and developers need quantitative specifications of component performance for arbitrary input states—for polarization optics this is afforded by the Mueller or Jones matrix, which mathematically describes all possible polarization effects of a component. The Mueller or Jones matrix can be used by developers in optical design software and general mathematical sensitivity analyses. The Mueller or Jones matrix can be measured with a laser polarimeter like that in AOT's polarimeter laboratory.

APCL Mueller Matrix

Vendors of polarization optics currently specify one or two parameters, typically extinction ratio and possibly retardance, but these do not provide a complete quantitative spec. No vendor currently specifies the Mueller or Jones matrix of their polarization optics. As a result, deviations from ideal component performance are not caught by the vendor and can result in confounding, time-consuming errors in device and sensor diagnostics. Whereas vendor in-house metrology is usually focused on monitoring and improving manufacturing processes, designers and developers require comprehensive specs on finished components to streamline their device and sensor development. AOT is working with vendors and standards organizations to establish a Mueller-matrix standard for polarization optics—waveplates, beamsplitters, coatings, crystals, etc.—that will facilitate the development of next-generation polarization devices and sensors.

Custom Polarization Metrology Services

If you are an optical-component vendor facing polarization requirements, AOT can test your components with our world-class laser polarimeter and quickly provide affordable comprehensive specs you can deliver to your customers. AOT can consult with you to pinpoint problems in your manufacturing process that may be causing deviations, and can design and install a custom laser polarimeter at your facility to expand your in-house metrology and elevate your product specs above your competitors

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