Optical sensing of polarization using conical diffraction phenomenon

Stephen D. Grant, Steve Reynolds, Amin Abdolvand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


A KGd(WO4)2 crystal has been used as the central piece of a prototype novel optical sensor to identify the plane of polarization of a beam of light. The device identified the plane of polarization of the incident beam of light and was found to be accurate to within ± 4°, comparable to the common polarizer-analyzer based setup in use in many labs. In order to test a practical application, a polarimetry test was carried out to identify the angle of rotation caused by optically active liquids, showing excellent agreement between the expected values and those measured using the conical diffraction phenomenon. The prototype provides an easy to use tool for fast and effective analysis of linear polarization for practical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number025609
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Optics (United Kingdom)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • birefringence
  • crystal optics
  • detectors and sensors
  • diffraction
  • polarization


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