This paper presents the polarizing triangular cyclic interferometer (pTCi) for characterizing optical samples with birefringent properties such as half- and quarter-wave plates. The interferometric system was set up to analyze the phase retardation of wave retarders in both qualitative and quantitative aspects. For the qualitative aspect, the distinct signal outputs from the inspected birefringent components oriented at particular angles are employed to distinguish different types of optical devices. For the quantitative aspect, the same arrangement could determine the phase difference γ of unknown retarders, so that it could be used to characterize types of samples. The experimental results showed the corresponding results obtained from both mentioned aspects where γ were measured to be 89.62° and 177.17° for half- and quarter-wave plates, respectively. The pTCi has been proved to be a proper scheme to characterize optical samples with birefringent properties.
This research is based on the Fresnel's equations and the ellipsometric technique that investigate the sample of SiO<sub>2</sub> thinfilm
on Si substrate. The investigation is made by a probing beam which is in the form of a rotating linearly polarized
light generated by the polarizing Mach-Zehnder interferometer (pMZi). The detection of the changed polarization states
of the incident light due to reflection on the sample surfaces led to a set of unique characteristics describing a thin-film
substrate system in terms of ellipsometric parameters ψ and Δ. SiO<sub>2</sub> thin-films were chosen to study because of their
well known characteristics. The accuracy of measurements was confirmed by comparisons to calculated values derived
from Fresnel's equations and a standard instrument. The results clearly reveal a feasibility of using the rotating linearly
polarized light produced by pMZi for a non-destructive characterization of the thin-film system.