Polarized light microscopy is an optical microscopy technique involving polarized light. Simple techniques include illumination of the sample with polarized light. Directly transmitted or incident light can, optionally, be blocked with a polariser orientated at 90 degrees to the illumination. These illumination techniques are most commonly used on birefringent samples where the polarized light interacts strongly with the sample and so generating contrast with the background. Polarized light microscopy is used extensively in optical mineralogy.