Imaging of nanoscale birefringence using polarization-resolved chromatic confocal microscopy

Ming-Che Chan, TZU HSIN LIAO, CHI SHENG HSIEH, Shie-Chang Jeng, GUAN YU ZHUO*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We demonstrate a homebuilt confocal microscope with ∼60 nm axial resolution to visualize the optical path length (OPL) of liquid crystals (LCs) inside a 2-domain alignment LC cell. Since the microscope is sensitive to light polarization, it is capable of determining LC orientation by accounting for the OPL variation, ΔOPL. The resolution of birefringence depends on the measured ΔOPL from two cross-polarized channel detections, of which the concept is different from other polarization-resolved optical imaging techniques, but is relatively simple in optical layout and analysis. The different orientations of LCs and the voltage-dependent LC rotation properties in the 2-domain LC cell are monitored and analyzed. Additionally, the complicated LC orientation distribution at the junction of the two domains with different alignments can be clearly observed. It shows great possibilities of examining tissue birefringence related to disease progression and tiny birefringence variation of electro-optical materials under an external field, which are hardly resolved by conventional optical imaging techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3965-3975
Number of pages11
JournalOptics Express
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2021

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