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Accurate polarization preparation and measurement using twisted nematic liquid crystals

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posted on 2023-11-30, 19:25 authored by Martin Bielak, Robert Stárek, Vojtěch Krčmarský, Michal Mičuda, Miroslav Ježek
Generation of particular polarization states of light, encoding information in polarization degree of freedom, and efficient measurement of unknown polarization are the key tasks in optical metrology, optical communications, polarization-sensitive imaging, and photonic information processing. Liquid crystal devices have proved to be indispensable for these tasks, though their limited precision and the requirement of a custom design impose a limit of practical applicability. Here we report fast preparation and detection of polarization states with unprecedented accuracy using liquid-crystal cells extracted from common twisted nematic liquid-crystal displays. To verify the performance of the device we use it to prepare dozens of polarization states with average fidelity 0.999(1) and average angle deviation 0.5(3) deg. Using four-projection minimum tomography as well as six-projection Pauli measurement, we measure polarization states employing the reported device with the average fidelity of 0.999(1). Polarization measurement data are processed by the maximum likelihood method to reach a valid estimate of the polarization state. In addition to the application in classical polarimetry, we also employ the reported liquid-crystal device for full tomographic characterization of a three-mode Greenberger--Horne--Zeilinger entangled state produced by a photonic quantum processor.

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