Technology for Polarization Measurement

Glass and Plastics

Traditional methods of measuring strain birefringence, including using crossed polarizers, rotating polarizers and compensators, have long provided manufacturers of glass and plastics with qualitative tools for stress analysis. However, as the performance demands placed on established applications have increased, and as new technology-driven applications have developed, the requirement for quantitative measurement methods at low strain retardation levels has grown. Whereas the primary driver for birefringence measurement in glass and polymer manufacturing lines was once yield improvement, end use performance specifications are now of equal concern for many manufactured components. In addition, the volumes in many high end production environments now require metrology with fast cycle times, a challenge that is compounded in cases where retardation magnitudes are at sub-nm levels.

Exicor® birefringence measurement systems provide repeatable, sub-nm level birefringence metrology for:

→ Measuring stress in glass and stress in plastics – birefringence in the sub-nm domain is a factor for both yield and performance in many products, whether at the substrate or finished product level
Container QC - including birefringence sensitive laboratory trays and containers, nuclear reactor containment hardware, scientific optical glass, etc.
→ Evaluation of new materials – including manufacturing process variables

As these links explain, Exicor Stokes polarimeters and Mueller matrix polarimeters provide metrology for these same applications when other polarization parameters besides linear birefringence need to be measured.

If you have questions about a specific glass or plastics metrology application and can’t find the information you need in one of these links, please contact us and ask to speak with one of our product application specialists.