Abstract

Development of alternate techniques to polarimetry for the measurement of weak optical rotation, with improved sensitivity, is becoming increasingly important as one understands the role of chirality in drug design and synthesis and the fundamentals of chiral light–matter interaction. We demonstrate here an optical amplification scheme using a spin-phase-gradient beam to measure ultra-small optical rotation angle (4 mdeg), with a sensitivity of 220 μdeg/μm, due to dilute (mg/mL) dextro-rotatory sugar solution. A Soleil–Babinet compensator is used to generate a tunable spin-phase-gradient beam which enables us to achieve high measurement sensitivities. Theoretical formalism of the technique leads us to the possibility to realize much higher measurement sensitivity of up to 10 μdeg/μm by tuning-in the experimental parameters.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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