Compensation of non-ideal beam splitter polarization distortion effect in Michelson interferometer

Yeng Cheng Liu, Yu Lung Lo, Chia Chi Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


A composite optical structure consisting of two quarter-wave plates and a single half-wave plate is proposed for compensating for the polarization distortion induced by a non-ideal beam splitter in a Michelson interferometer. In the proposed approach, the optimal orientations of the optical components within the polarization compensator are determined using a genetic algorithm (GA) such that the beam splitter can be treated as a free-space medium and modeled using a unit Mueller matrix accordingly. Two implementations of the proposed polarization controller are presented. In the first case, the compensator is placed in the output arm of Michelson interferometer such that the state of polarization of the interfered output light is equal to that of the input light. However, in this configuration, the polarization effects induced by the beam splitter in the two arms of the interferometer structure cannot be separately addressed. Consequently, in the second case, compensator structures are placed in the Michelson interferometer for compensation on both the scanning and reference beams. The practical feasibility of the proposed approach is introduced by considering a Mueller polarization-sensitive (PS) optical coherence tomography (OCT) structure with three polarization controllers in the input, reference and sample arms, respectively. In general, the results presented in this study show that the proposed polarization controller provides an effective and experimentally-straightforward means of compensating for the polarization distortion effects induced by the non-ideal beam splitters in Michelson interferometers and Mueller PS-OCT structures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-161
Number of pages9
JournalOptics Communications
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb 15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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