Mueller matrix microscope

Mueller matrix microscope for techtransfer

Currently, polarization information is useful in microscopy applications to obtain quantitative measurements and details from the studied samples However, conventional polarization microscopy often lacks quantitativeness and demands specialized expertise. Moreover, existing cutting-edge systems face challenges in capturing such data swiftly, especially in dynamic environments where high-speed data acquisition is essential.

To solve this issue, researchers from the Universidad de Barcelona have developed a Mueller matrix imaging polarimeter which uses a polarization camera with sensor-integrated polarizing filters as a detector. Leveraging off-the-shelf components and proprietary algorithms, this polarimeter enables rapid acquisition times for polarimetric analysis. Its capability allows, for instance, real-time birefringence imaging of transparent samples, a feat previously hindered by slower methodologies.

Mueller matrix microscope for techtransfer
Image of the developed system

The instrument setup comprises a high-contrast linear polarizing film and an achromatic compensator to generate the polarization state between the light source and the sample. A rotation mount allows precise control over the compensator’s angle, optimizing polarization manipulation. Integrating a polarization camera reduces the number of optical elements installed in the system, ensuring the quality of the obtained images.
The hardware is complemented with software packages that have specific data analysis features for the polarization parameters.

The presented device features the following key benefits:

  • High sensitivity and repeatability in distinguishing specific, low-level Mueller matrix elements.
  • Simultaneous measurement of 12 Mueller matrix elements within a rapid timeframe of less than 3 seconds.
  • Real-time measurement capabilities operating at video-rate speed, specifically capturing 2 Mueller matrix elements for linear birefringence assessments, covering both magnitude and orientation.
Full Mueller matrix in growing crystal for techtransfer
Full Mueller matrix in growing crystal

The represented institution is looking for a collaboration that leads to commercial exploitation of the presented invention.

Institution: Universidad de Barcelona & Fundacion Bosch i Gimpera

TRL: 4-5

Financed: Proyectos de Prueba de Concepto (Agencia Estatal de Investigación)

Contact: Pablo Lago /