Retardation characterization

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2.2 Polarimetric determination measurement

3.1.2 Retardation characterization Determination of the dephasing of the experimental setup

After fixing the additional dichroic D2 position, we reperform the calibrating measurement with the diattenuation eliminated setup depicted in Figure 3.4 to characterize the retardation induced by the setup with different polarization state and intensity of the excition laser. The results are presented in Table 3.2. The first experiment (ex1) and the second one (ex2) are with same lasing polarization but different lasing intensity. Then we change the lasing polarization then repeat for the third (ex3) and the forth (ex4). By rotating the axis of the linear polarizer P1 through the angle of α with respect to the x axis of the setup (α = 0 when the incident polarization is alongxreference axis), we measure the intensity of the beam entering the setup by the power meter inserted right after the polarizer P1: I0a with a = 1,2,3 as when the polarizer P1 are put at α = 0,90o,45o respectively. Similarly, the intensity of the output Ia0 with a = 1,2,3,4 are obtained by the power meter followed the polarizer P2 when β =

0,90o,45o,135o. In all the experiments, it is confirmed that there is no diattenuating effect as TxTy. Thanks to Equation 2.43 the phase retardationψ between the s and p polarization is estimated approximately 55o:

Exp. No. I01 I02 I03 I10 I20 I30 I40 Tx Ty ψ ex1 1250 96.8 407 685 52.9 163.5 30.6 58% 57% 54.8o ex2 4880 139 2030 2940 55.3 850 131.2 60% 61% 51.3o ex3 1932 858 258.4 1211 548 120 26.4 62% 63% 55.1o ex4 2250 1040 299 1410 651 133.8 35.5 62% 62% 58.4o

Table 3.2: The results of the calibrating measurement for diattenuation and retardation char-acterization perfomed by the diattenuation eliminated setup schematized in Figure 3.4 with different polarization states of laser (ex1/ex2 and ex3/ex4) and differnet lasing intensity (ex1 and ex2; ex3 and ex4). All the intensity are in µW units. Determination of the dephasing of prism

Laser @630 nm

Mirror Beam expander

Polarizer P1

Power meter

Prism Microscope

Pinhole Tube lens Filter 630/92

Polarizer P2

y x


z y

x β


FIGURE 3.7: Schematic configuration of the side measurement for characterizing the retarda-tion effect of the prism inside the microscope. Noted that the z axis is always oriented along the direction of propagation and the vectors normal prism interfaces in the xz plane are fixed at 45o to the z direction thanks to the microscope.

As the prism of the microscope is normally considered as a retarder, we will characterize its retardation first. We make a small checking measurement for only the prism inside the microscope, as pictured in Figure 3.7. The obtained results are listed in Table 3.3. It is to be

α β IP1 IP2 0o 0o 4900 3170 0o 90o 4900 12 90o 0o 146.5 1.5 90o 90o 146.5 96 45o 45o 2040 1016 45o 135o 2040 188

Table 3.3: The results of the side checking measurement for retardation characterization per-fomed by the setup illustrated in Figure 3.7. All the intensity are in µW units.

recalled that α and β are the angle to the x reference direction of the transmission axis of the polarizer P1 and the analyzer P2 respectively. When the analyzer P2 axis is at 90o and the polarizer P1 one is along x axis, the light is eliminated. It ensures that the vector normal to the prism interface lies in the xz reference plane and the s and p polarization directions of the prism are also along the y and x reference axes. If the polarizers P1 and P2 are turned to α = 45o and β = 135o, a small amount of the transmission light remains, resulting from the dephasing of the prism.

Carrying out the calculation in Equation 2.41, 2.42, and 2.43, we have the transmission of the microscope with only the prism along x and y direction TxTy ≈ 0.65 and the phase retardation ψ ≈52o, close to the value obtained for the setup including the compensating two dichroics. Therefore, with our setup alignment, the retardation effect may mainly result from the prism inside the microscope. Reducing the dephasing

Since the diattenuation effect of the setup has been eliminated by the additional dichroic beamsplitter, with the same idea, we will insert in the propagating way an other prism with the same retardation turned by 90o in respect to the first prism, as illustrated in Figure 3.8.

As the plane of incidence of the first prism Pm1 is the plane perpendicular to its surface containing the propagation vector (alongzreference axis), thexcomponent of the incident beam is in this plane, refering to p polarization. The additional prism Pm2 is inserted perpendicularly to the first prism Pm1 so that their planes of incidence are also perpendicular to each other.

The p polarized component with respect to the first Pm1 will correspond to the s polarized one with respect to the additional prism Pm2 as illustrated in Figure 3.8. In a similar way, the y



y x

Dichroi c D1

Prism Pm1 x

x y


Dichroi Prism Pm2 c D2

x y

x y z




FIGURE 3.8: Schematic of the orthognal setting of 2 prisms in our setup. The component of the light along x axis (the black arrow) is p polarized one with respect to the first prism Pm1 but s polarized with respect to the additional prism Pm2.

component of the beam is s polarized for the prism Pm1 while it is considered as p polarized for the prism Pm2. Therefore, when light passes through both prisms, both orthogonal components are phase shifted in the same way, so the retardation between them would remain the same.

The retardation eliminated setup is presented in Figure 3.9. With this improvement, when we perform the calibrating measurement, we get the new phase retardation ψ down to 5o−8o, which is acceptable in the experimental accuracy limit.

When the phase retardation of the setup reduces to be 8o, the corresponding theoretical dependence of the degree of polarization δ on the polar angle Θ of the emitting dipole in two extreme cases : when Φmes = 45o (minimum M = 0.97, red lines) and Φmes = 0o (maximum M

= 1, blue lines) for a one dimensional and two dimensional dipole is represented in Figure 3.10.

As discussed in subsection 2.1.4, the measured azimuthal angle Φmes is extracted directly from the phase of the sinusoidal curve. It is related to the actual orientation Φ of the dipole by:

cosψtan2Φ = tanmes

The degree of polarization measured from the contrast of the sinusoidal curve δmes is related to the actual value δ(Θ) (obtained when ψ = 0, which corresponds to the orientation of the dipole) by the following relationship:

δmes =δ(Θ) coscosmes


FIGURE 3.9: Schematic configuration of the emission polarization measurement setup with diattenuation elimination by adding the second dichroic beamsplitter and retardation elimination by replacing the mirror by an additional prism. The detailed orthogonal arrangement of the dichroics and prisms is presented in Figure 3.8. Noted that the z axis is always oriented in the direction of propagation.

FIGURE 3.10: The setup0s phase retardationψ = 8o: Theoretical values ofδas a function of the angle Θfor a one dimensional dipole (a) or a two dimensional dipole (b) in two extreme cases when factor M are maximum (Φmes =z190o) and minimum (Φmes = 45o+z190o) respectively, calculated in the reflection configuration (the emitter is at a distance of 50 nm to the gold-PMMA interface, oil objective with N A= 1.4

It should be reminded that when Φmes = 0o, δmes =δ(Θ). From Figure 3.10, we have with the setup0s dephasing ψ = 8o, the difference between δmes and δ(Θ) when Φmes = 45o is just 3%.

Since Φmes = 45o is the case for which the difference is the biggest, we can conlcude that the difference between our measured values and the actual values is just less than 3%, which is acceptable.

3.2 Realistic experimental setup including the detection

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