Polarized light imaging of birefringence and diattenuation at high resolution and high sensitivity
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KeywordBirefringence; Diattenuation; Dichroism; Retardance; Transmittance; LC-PolScope; Polarized light; Liquid-crystal compensator
Polarized light microscopy provides unique opportunities for analyzing the molecular order in manmade and natural materials, including biological structures inside living cells, tissues, and whole organisms. 20 years ago, the LC-PolScope was introduced as a modern version of the traditional polarizing microscope enhanced by liquid crystal devices for the control of polarization, and by electronic imaging and digital image processing for fast and comprehensive image acquisition and analysis. The LCPolScope is commonly used for birefringence imaging, analyzing the spatial and temporal variations of the differential phase delay in ordered and transparent materials. Here we describe an alternative use of the LC-PolScope for imaging the polarization dependent transmittance of dichroic materials. We explain the minor changes needed to convert the instrument between the two imaging modes, discuss the relationship between the quantities measured with either instrument, and touch on the physical connection between refractive index, birefringence, transmittance, diattenuation, and dichroism.
Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2013. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of IOP Publishing for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Optics 15 (2013): 094007, doi:10.1088/2040-8978/15/9/094007.
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