Several precision polarimeters are operated by the Polarization Laboratory, allowing polarization measurements spanning the ultraviolet to the short wave infrared. Each polarimeter is configured as an imaging device that is capable of research-grade spatial and angular resolution for sample characterization. Interpretation of results and data visualization is accomplished by custom software and years of background expertise.


Multiangle Spectro-Polarimetric Imager (MSPI)


The Multiangle Spectro-Polarimetric Imager (MSPI) is jointly designed and fabricated by the University of Arizona and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Designed for studies of atmospheric aerosols, the unique pushbroom imager simultaneously acquires pixel-wise Stokes parameters at three wavelengths (470nm, 660nm, 865nm), and has intensity-only information in five additional wavebands (355 nm, 380 nm, 445 nm, 555 nm, and 935 nm)





UV Mueller Matrix Imaging Polarimeter







Visible Mueller Matrix Imaging Polarimeter





Near-Infrared Mueller Matrix Imaging Polarimeter

IR Imaging Scatter Polarimeter

Partially polarized light scattering is commonly measured in our infrared scatter polarimeter housed in clean room facilities. Operating near 1550nm, automated sample and source rotation stages make this instrument well suited for measuring polarized bi-Direction Reflectance Distribution Functions (pBRDF) in the form of a Mueller matrices at each scattering geometry.

Polarization Modeling

Complementing our measurement facilities is our in-house polarization ray-tracing software, code-named “Polaris”. Built from the ground up to model polarization, Polaris extends beyond commercial ray tracing capabilities. Algorithms include refraction, reflection, and diffraction in birefringent crystals, diffraction gratings, polarizers, retarders, multi-layer biaxial thin-films, and other polarizing media, as well as conventional isotropic glasses. Applications where Polaris code has already been used to improve optical performance include:

  • Stress Birefringence: Finite element analysis models of stresses and stress gradients in glass and plastic are ray-traced and retardance is evaluated.
  • Biaxial Ellipsometry: Complete characterization of the orientations and complex indices of refraction of general biaxial thin films and substrates.
  • High Performance Waveplate Design: Design and verification of athermalized waveplates with nearly constant retardance from 400nm to 2μm.