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Nanostructured optical materials, for example, metamaterials, have unique spectral, directional, and polarimetric properties. Samples designed and fabricated for infrared (IR) wavelengths have been characterized using broadband instruments to measure specular polarimetric transmittance or reflectance as in ellipsometry or integrated hemisphere transmittance or reflectance. We have developed a wavelength-tunable IR Mueller-matrix (Mm) polarimetric scatterometer which uses tunable external-cavity quantum-cascade lasers (EC-QCLs) to tune onto and off of the narrowband spectral resonances of nanostructured optical materials and performed full polarimeteric and directional evaluation to more fully characterize their behavior. Using a series of EC-QCLs, the instrument is tunable over 4.37-6.54 μm wavelengths in the mid-wave IR and 7.41-9.71 μm in the long-wave IR and makes measurements both at specular angles, acting as a Mm polarimeter, and at off-specular angles, acting as a Mm scatterometer. Example measurements of an IR thermal metamaterial are shown.


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The publisher version of record is a subscription-access article, appearing as cited below in volume 88 of Review of Scientific Instruments, hosted at Scitation (AIP). Readers outside of AFIT will need to access the article through their own digital subscription to that periodical.



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Review of Scientific Instruments