Interferometry Analysis of Cellophane Birefringence


This paper reports on a simple approach of determining the ability of a transparent material, such as cellophane to rotate the direction of polarization of a light beam. In order to determine the birefringence of such a material, a Mach-Zehnder interferometer is used to generate interference patterns when the cellophane sheet is mounted on one arm such as to intercept a portion of the laser beam. The recorded interferograms show a phase shift which is calculated to be 0.98π radians. By rotating the cellophane sheet on the object beam, the fringe separation is measured for different angles and the values used to calculate the ordinary and extraordinary refractive indices as 1.4721 ± 0.0002 and 1.4680 ± 0.0002 respectively at 632.8 nm wavelength. A surface error of approximately λ/16 (peak to valley) is measured from the recorded interferograms. Because of its sufficient birefringence and small thickness of 24 μm, cellophane can be used to fabricate special polarization pupil masks by cutting and aligning different cellophane structures appropriately.

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D. Kinyua, G. Rurimo, P. Karimi, S. Maina and C. Ominde, "Interferometry Analysis of Cellophane Birefringence," Optics and Photonics Journal, Vol. 3 No. 6, 2013, pp. 337-341. doi: 10.4236/opj.2013.36052.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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