Accurate polarization preparation and measurement using twisted nematic liquid crystals

20 Jan 2020  ·  Martin Bielak, Robert Stárek, Vojtěch Krčmarský, Michal Mičuda, Miroslav Ježek ·

Generation of particular polarization states of light, encoding information in polarization degree of freedom, and efficient measurement of unknown polarization are the key tasks in optical metrology, optical communications, polarization-sensitive imaging, and photonic information processing. Liquid crystal devices have proved to be indispensable for these tasks, though their limited precision and the requirement of a custom design impose a limit of practical applicability... Here we report fast preparation and detection of polarization states with unprecedented accuracy using liquid-crystal cells extracted from common twisted nematic liquid-crystal displays. To verify the performance of the device we use it to prepare dozens of polarization states with average fidelity 0.999(1) and average angle deviation 0.5(3) deg. Using four-projection minimum tomography as well as six-projection Pauli measurement, we measure polarization states employing the reported device with the average fidelity of 0.999(1). Polarization measurement data are processed by the maximum likelihood method to reach a valid estimate of the polarization state. In addition to the application in classical polarimetry, we also employ the reported liquid-crystal device for full tomographic characterization of a three-mode Greenberger--Horne--Zeilinger entangled state produced by a photonic quantum processor. read more

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Quantum Physics Instrumentation and Detectors Optics