, Volume 164, Issue 1-2, pp 243-252

Recent progress in imaging polarimetry

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Recent instrumental developments in imaging polarimetry allow array detectors to reach a polarimetric sensitivity of 1 × 10−4 of the intensity. New instrumental effects appear at these levels of sensitivity and generate spurious polarization signals with amplitudes of up to 5 × 10−4. Here I discuss these effects and present methods to avoid them. Polarized spectra with an rms noise of 6 × 10−6 may then be obtained. Furthermore a method is brought to the reader's attention that allows polarization measurements at the 1 × 10−4 level with regular array detectors, e.g. in the near-infrared.