Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Stress-engineered optical elements
by Spilman, Alexis Katherine Koenig, Ph.D., University of Rochester, 2008, 171; 3300620
Abstract (Summary)

Stress in an optical window induces very intriguing and useful polarization effects. In particular, an applied pressure creates polarization vortices which have the potential to aid in many optical imaging applications, including lithography and confocal microscopy. A particularly fascinating double focus effect is observed when a stressed window is illuminated and analyzed with circularly polarized light. A stressed window, in such an arrangement, creates an optical system with two focal points.

An overview of the history of stress birefringence and the influence of polarization vortices on optical systems is introduced. Theory of stress and strain is presented and the impact of stress and strain on an optical window is explored through finite element modeling, Jones matrix analysis, theoretical simulations and experimental methods. This thesis also explores ways in which stress is applied to a transparent window, the characterization of the effect of stressed windows in both the pupil and image planes and the influence of the induced polarization vortices on imaging. A zone plate model and mean-square estimate are presented to describe a double focus effect that is observed when the stress exceeds a certain threshold. Applications of stress-induced polarization vortices as well as future work are also discussed.

The development and experimental characterization of space-variant, stress birefringent optical elements is the first such effort directed toward the creation of polarization vortices.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Brown, Thomas G.
School: University of Rochester
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 69/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Optics
Keywords: Birefringence, Optical windows, Polarization, Stress birefringence
Publication Number: 3300620
ISBN: 9780549450207