Quantitative polarised light microscopy

J. Microsc., Vol. 209, Pt. 1, January 2003, 13-22. F. Massoumian, R. Juskaitis, M.A.A. Neil & T. Wilson.

We describe a simple modification to a confocal microscope,which analyses the state of polarization of light emerging fromthe specimen so as to permit quantitative polarized lightmicroscopy to be performed. The system uses a novel form ofrotating analyser which, together with lock-in detection,permits images to be obtained where the image contrast correspondsto both specimen retardance and orientation (e.g. inthe case of a birefringent specimen). Images are presentedfrom a wide range of specimens and the origin of the contrastobserved from simple point scatterers is investigated boththeoretically and experimentally.
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