Abstract

Achromatic wave plates are ideal components for use with tunable and multiline laser systems, broadband sources, and in astronomical instrumentation. The present study deals with the design and characteristics of two different quarter-wave achromatic retarders in the 500–700 nm range, using a cascaded system of two birefringent plates. The first of these shows a variation of less than ±0.5°, whereas the second system shows a variation of ±4° where the azimuth remains constant. Finally, a comparison between the two systems is made. The succinct and simple Jones matrix formalism has been used to derive the general expression for the equivalent retardation and azimuth of the combinations. It appears that the proposed arrangement has the promise of producing good achromatic combinations.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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