The microfibril angle (MFA) giving the orientation of cellulose chains in hard sclerenchymatous bamboo fibers is one of the most important parameters determining the overall strength of the bamboo culm. In this work, Mueller matrix imaging polarimetry is implemented for determining MFA measured over a transverse section of group of fibers and parenchyma cells in bamboo of Dendrocalamus strictus species. The method, based on the Stokes–Mueller formalism, decouples the birefringence exhibited by crystalline cellulose from the clumped polarization parameters using 16 images taken with different polarization states at subcellular resolution. Retardance values, obtained from polar decomposition of the Mueller matrix, are extracted from different locations in the specimen, and distribution of MFA over the entire section is presented. The method permits simultaneous measurement of MFA in a transverse section of several fibers and parenchyma cells. The range of MFA obtained for bamboo fibers from Mueller matrix imaging is verified with the results obtained through x-ray diffraction using the pole figure method.
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