Directional dependence of the index of refraction contains a wealth of information about anisotropic optical properties in semiconducting and insulating materials. Here we present a novel high-resolution lens-less technique that uses birefringence as a contrast mechanism to map the index of refraction and dielectric permittivity in optically anisotropic materials. We applied this approach successfully to a liquid crystal polymer film using polarized light from helium neon laser. This approach is scalable to imaging with diffraction-limited resolution, a prospect rapidly becoming a reality in view of emergent brilliant X-ray sources. Applications of this novel imaging technique are in disruptive technologies, including novel electronic devices, in which both charge and spin carry information as in multiferroic materials and photonic materials such as light modulators and optical storage.
Results of studies carried out during development of a metallic plasma multicomponent electric-arc source and containing eight independently operating cathodes are described. Structural scheme of the developed device and technical characteristics are represented.