Abstract

A novel polarimeter for measuring the two-dimensional (2D) thermal- and mechanical-stress-induced birefringence in solid-state laser materials such as Nd:YAG is proposed. Using this device, we could sensitively measure the direction of the principal birefringence axis as well as the phase shift δ with sign when δ < π/4. The 2D thermal- and mechanical-stress-induced birefringence in a laser-diode-pumped Nd:YAG rod was successfully measured with the proposed polarimeter. We also found an active quarter-wave Nd:YAG phase retarder.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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