Technology for Polarization Measurement

Research Grade Stokes Polarimeters


RUAG Stokes Polarimeter









Please see Hinds' PolSNAPTM Stokes Polarimeter page for more information on compact Polarimeter solutions.

Hinds Instruments’ Stokes Polarimeter Systems offer unparalleled sensitivity for measuring the polarization state of a light beam or source. Using a robust, refined technology, our Dual PEM Stokes Polarimeters quantify all 4 normalized Stokes vectors with a single measurement and no moving parts. The excellent sensitivity, repeatability and straightforward operation of the Dual PEM Stokes Polarimeter platform have made this system invaluable to challenging applications in optical component characterization, astronomy, fiber optic research and manufacturing, and laser quality control.


  • Research Grade
  • No moving parts
  • No imprecise, noise-generating rotators
  • High speed modulation ( > 40 kHz )
  • Fast:  > 100 normalized Stokes parameter sets per second
  • Instantaneous, simultaneous complete data capture and display


The light being measured can be from a laser, a fiber, a broadband source or an astronomical body like the sun or a star. The system measures and instantaneously displays the value of each of the normalized Stokes parameters, as well as the position on the Poincare´ sphere. The DOP, DOLP and DOCP are also displayed.

The turnkey system includes an optical module, an electronic module, a complete software package, and a PC with monitor. The optical module, including two photoelastic modulators (PEMs), generates all 4 Stokes parameters with a single measurement. Various standard options are available, including versions for single wavelength or spectroscopic measurements. Systems are available for the visible, NIR, IR and DUV. The software package is designed to calibrate the PEMs for changing wavelengths and a fiber optic input is available. The electronic signals can be processed through either Fourier analysis of waveforms or lock-in amplifiers depending on the requirements of a specific application.

Hardware Features

  • Dual photoelastic modulator technology
  • No moving components
  • Fast and simultaneous measurement of all Stokes parameters
  • Sturdy mechanical modules


Software Features

  • Real time display of all normalized Stokes parameters
  • DOP, DOCP and DOLP
  • Poincare’ sphere and polarization ellipse
  • Statistical analysis
  • Wavelength selection
  • Measurement points selection and display
  • Data archiving



  • UV-Vis System: 180 nm – 850 nm
  • NIR System: 800 nm – 2.5 µm
  • Mid-IR System: 1.5 µm – 15 µm
  • NIR Fiber Polarimeter: 1330 nm and 1550 nm
  • Stokes parameter accuracy: 1%
  • Stokes parameter sensitivity: 0.0005


Options Available

  • Fiber Optic Input
  • Spectroscopic Scanning
  • Sample Stage
  • DUV Wavelength Measurements
  • Fiber Optic Software Modifications
  • High Sensitivity Demodulation



B Wang, WB Sparks, TA Germer, A Leadbetter, Proc. SPIE. 7441, 744108 (2009); A Spectroscopic Polarimeter For Detecting Chiral Signatures In Astrobiological Samples.

W.B. Sparks, J. Hough, T.A. Germer, F. Chen, S. DasSarma, P. DasSarma, F.T. Robb, N. Manset, L. Kolokolova, I.N. Reid, F.D. Macchetto, W. Martin, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 106, 7816-7821 (2009); Detection of Circular Polarization in Light Scattered from Photosynthetic Microbes.

W.B. Sparks, J. Hough, L. Kolokolova, T.A. Germer, F. Chen, S. DasSarma, P. DasSarma, F.T. Robb, N. Manset, I.N. Reid, F.D. Macchetto, W. Martin, JQSRT, 110, 1771-1779 (2009); Circular polarization in scattered light as a possible biomarker.

Contact us to see how Hinds Instruments works with our customers to solve complex metrology problems.