Well known relationships exist between thicknesses and indices of a stack of optical layers which permit the definition of very good polarizers of light. One of the most famous types of polarizer is the MacNeille cube. In this case the hypotenuse face of an isosceles right angled prism is coated with a polarizing deposit and then cemented to the hypotenuse face of an identical prism. This polarizer can be used over a large spectral range located in the s vibration stop band. Unfortunately, the insertion losses for the p vibration are large when the angular field is larger than ±2°. Using very simple optical considerations, we design suitable coating structures that allow the use of cube polarizers over a wide angular range, typically ±10° in air, when Tp > 0.97 and Ts ≤ 10−3. However, the spectral range is reduced. Diagrams are given to calculate the thickness of the layers according to the substrate and the indices of the evaporated materials. The prism angle is also determined to have a symmetric angular field in air. Such polarizers are suitable for semiconductor lasers because they can be used without a collimating lens in spite of their large divergence. Good optical characteristics up to Tp ≈ 0.95 and Ts ≈ 10−4 over the range of ±5° have been measured for these polarizers manufactured in the Laboratoires de Marcoussis.
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