Axometrics Inc. of Huntsville, Ala., developed its AxoScan Mapping SpectroPolarimeter so that liquid crystal display manufacturers could detect spatial variations that are common in polarizer and retarder films and coatings, and components such as lenses and beamsplitters. Suitable for both laboratory and industrial uses, the device monitors the retardance of films when applying coatings, tests the polarization properties of films and checks optical display components for uniformity of polarization. It obtains in seconds measurements that previously could take hours.Based on the company's AxoScan Mueller Matrix Polarimeter, the instrument was integrated with AxoView control software, an X-Y scanning table and a tunable spectral light source. It measures not only linear retarders and polarizers, but also circular and elliptical ones. The spatial mapper measures retardance values from near zero up to thousands of nanometers and provides automated spectral measurements from 400 to 800 nm; it also can be configured for other wavelengths. The user can set up scan parameters with the X-Y table, and change the center position and step and sample sizes. The software provides two-dimensional maps of the effects of optical rotation, circular dichroism and depolarization.