A metal-mesh achromatic half-wave plate (HWP) has been designed, manufactured, and tested for potential use in millimeter and submillimeter astronomical instruments. The prototype device presented here is based on a 12-grid Shatrow [IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag. 43, 109 (1995)] recipe to operate over the frequency range of . Transmission line modeling and finite-element analysis [Ansoft HFSS website: http://www.ansoft.com/hfss/] were used to optimize the design geometrical parameters in terms of the device transmission, reflection, absorption, phase-shift, and cross-polarization as a function of frequency. The resulting prototype device was constructed and characterized using incoherent radiation from a polarizing Fourier transform spectrometer to explore its frequency and polarization behavior. These measurements are shown to be in excellent agreement with the models. Lists of the achieved HWP performance characteristics are reported.
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