We live in a discovery world whereby human beings continuously come up with inventions. Polarized light is one of the discoveries. It is not easy to tell who first discovered it, since it was discovered in contexts which were different many times. Among those who are thought to have discovered it is Erasmus Bartholinus, who was Danish. Scientific research is still ongoing with an aim of finding out more about polarized light.

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To begin with, one of those who can be given credit for discovering polarized light is Erasmus Bartholinus from Copenhagen University, who was a Mathematician in 1669. In official polarization discovery, Iceland Spar (transparent crystal which appears naturally) was involved. When looked through in directions, it divided the image into two distinct displaced images. He also did other experiments, there after writing a memoir consisting of 60 pages (The Discovery).

Development of illuminator which has options that are special for RET (Resolution Enhancement Technique) is a major development of polarized light and has been done by Nikon. In this development, polarized light is less lost. When a pattern is printed and is in the same direction with polarization, RET expands process margin and improves contrast of the image. Polarized illumination has been simulated with RET’s impact. Polarized light illuminator has been constructed and in it, installed a scanner which is ArF full-field. Using a special tool, degree and dispersion of polarization has been optimized and measured at wafer plane. According to the author, Nikon has “investigated image performance with polarized dipole illumination;” according to Hisashi et.al, (2004), the process margin has been extended by polarized light-illuminator.

Applications of polarized light are numerous in special industrial and medical applications. For instance, it is used in determining the shape and size of viruses, analysis of photo elastic stress, providing 3-D view which are special glasses with polaroids that have perpendicular axes, and in sun glasses fitted with polaroids.

In conclusion, polarized light has been a remarkable innovation. Nikon has contributed in developing polarized light by coming up with illuminator which ensures less polarized light is lost. Polarized light has numerous uses both in industrial and medical fields.

  • Nishinaga, Hisashi. “Development of Polarized Light Illuminator and Its Impacts.”SPIE digital library, Proceedings Volume 5754, Optical Microlithography XVIII; Retrieved from: on March 25, 2018
  • “The Discovery.” n.d, n.p, Retrieved from: March 21, 2018.