Polarization-entangled twin-photon ellipsometry

Kimani C. Toussaint, Ayman F. Abouraddy, Matthew T. Corbo, Alexander V. Sergienko, Bahaa E.A. Saleh, Malvin C. Teich

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The high accuracy required in traditional ellipsometric measurements necessitates the absolute calibration of both the source and the detector. We demonstrate that these requirements can be circumvented by using a nonclassical source of light, namely, a twin-photon polarization-entangled source that produces type-II spontaneous parametric down-conversion, in conjunction with a novel polarization interferometer and coincidence-counting detection scheme. Our scheme exhibits two features that obviate the requirements of a calibrated source and detector. The first is the twin-photon nature of the source; we are guaranteed, on the detection of a photon in one of the arms of the setup, that its twin will be in the other, effectively serving as calibration of the source. The second is that the polarization entanglement of the source serves as an interferometer, thereby alleviating the need for calibrating the detector. The net result is that absolute ellipsometric data from a sample may be obtained. We present preliminary experimental results showing how the technique operates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-166
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes
EventPolarization Measurement, Analysis, and Applications V - Seattle,WA, United States
Duration: Jul 8 2002Jul 9 2002


  • Ellipsometry
  • Nonlinear optics
  • Polarization entanglement
  • Quantum optics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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