The initial experimental verification of a polarization monitoring technique is presented. A series of phase shifting mask patterns produce polarization dependent signals in photoresist and are capable of monitoring the Stokes parameters of any arbitrary illumination scheme. Experiments on two test reticles have been conducted. The first reticle consisted of a series of radial phase gratings (RPG) and employed special apertures to select particular illumination angles. Measurement sensitivities of about 0.3 percent of the clear field per percent change in polarization state were observed. The second test reticle employed the more sensitive proximity effect polarization analyzers (PEPA), a more robust experimental setup, and a backside pinhole layer for illumination angle selection and to enable characterization of the full illuminator. Despite an initial complication with the backside pinhole alignment, the results correlate with theory. Theory suggests that, once the pinhole alignment is corrected in the near future, the second reticle should achieve a measurement sensitivity of about 1 percent of the clear field per percent change in polarization state. This corresponds to a measurement of the Stokes parameters after test mask calibration, to within about 0.02 to 0.03. Various potential improvements to the design, fabrication of the mask, and experimental setup are discussed. Additionally, to decrease measurement time, a design modification and double exposure technique is proposed to enable electrical detection of the measurement signal.© (2006) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.