Abstract

The behavior of achromatic 90 and 180° phase retarder devices has been computed. These devices are made of three right-angle prisms so that the transmitted beam is not deflected or deviated from its incoming direction although the beam has suffered four internal reflections. Conventional BK-7 prisms and quartz prisms can be used as achromatic 180 and 90° phase retarders if suitable dielectric coatings are applied to the reflecting surfaces. With other glass types extremely achromatic 180° retarders can be obtained with <0.2% deviation from 180° throughout the visible wavelength range. This is five times better than the so-called superachromatic retarders made of several birefringent plates of different materials.

© 1984 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. R. J. King, “Quarter-Wave Retardation Systems Based on the Fresnel Rhomb Principle,” J. Sci. Instrum. 43, 617 (1966).
    [CrossRef]
  2. P. B. Clapham, M. J. Downs, R. J. King, “Some Applications of Thin Films to Polarization Devices,” Appl. Opt. 8, 1965 (1969).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. J. M. Bennett, “A Critical Evaluation of Rhomb-Type Quarterwave Retarders,” Appl. Opt. 9, 2123 (1969).
    [CrossRef]
  4. E Schott-Glaswerke, Hattenbergstrasse 10, D-6500 Mainz 1, West Germany.
  5. W. G. Driscoll, W. Vaughan, Eds. Handbook of Optics (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1978).
  6. J. E. Frecker, K. Serkowski, “Linear Polarimeter with Rapid Modulation, Achromatic in the 0.3–1.1-μm Range,” Appl. Opt. 15, 605 (1976).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]

1976 (1)

1969 (2)

1966 (1)

R. J. King, “Quarter-Wave Retardation Systems Based on the Fresnel Rhomb Principle,” J. Sci. Instrum. 43, 617 (1966).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Opt. (3)

J. Sci. Instrum. (1)

R. J. King, “Quarter-Wave Retardation Systems Based on the Fresnel Rhomb Principle,” J. Sci. Instrum. 43, 617 (1966).
[CrossRef]

Other (2)

E Schott-Glaswerke, Hattenbergstrasse 10, D-6500 Mainz 1, West Germany.

W. G. Driscoll, W. Vaughan, Eds. Handbook of Optics (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1978).

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Configuration of right-angle prism phase retarder.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Phase retardation vs wavelength for different glass types. Solid lines, uncoated surface; dashed lines, coated surfaces.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Phase retardation vs wavelength for different optimized coated prism-phase retarders.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Phase retardation vs angle of incidence in air for different glass types.

Tables (4)

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Table I Glass Types Investigated in this Worka

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Table II Average Phase Retardations and Standard Deviation for Different Uncoated Phase Retarders

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Table III Optimized Phase Retarders of BK-7 Glass and Quartza

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Table IV Optimized Phase Retarders with Selected Glass Types. The wavelength dependence is shown in Fig. 3.

Equations (2)

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tan ( δ / 2 ) = cos θ ( n 2 sin 2 θ - 1 ) 1 / 2 n sin 2 θ ,
d δ d λ = 4 cos 2 ( δ / 2 ) n 2 ( n 2 - 2 ) 1 / 2 d n d λ .

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