Diffraction characteristics of high-spatial-frequency (HSF) gratings are evaluated for application to polarization-selective computer-generated holograms by the use of two different approaches: second-order effective-medium theory (EMT) and rigorous coupled-wave analysis (RCWA). The reflectivities and the phase differences for TE- and TM-polarized waves are investigated in terms of various input parameters, and results obtained with second-order EMT and RCWA are compared. It is shown that although the reflection characteristics can be accurately modeled with the second-order EMT, the phase difference created by form birefringence for TE- and TM-polarized waves requires the use of a more rigorous, RCWA approach. The design of HSF gratings in terms of their form birefringence and reflectivity properties is discussed in conjunction with polarization-selective computer-generated holograms. A specific design optimization example furnishes a grating profile that provides a trade-off between the largest form birefringence and the lowest reflectivities.
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