Abstract

In an investigation of extraordinary- (E-) ray behavior and the index of refraction for E waves in a uniaxial crystal, a precise and versatile formula for birefringent filters, based on the exact construction of the optical path difference, is set up with neither the approximation Δn = n on en o (or n e), nor the ambiguity sin(θ)/sin(r w) = n e. The exact construction gives the correct variation of the position and the dimension in each path, yielding the path difference while the filter is tuning. The formula is applicable not only to a filter with its optical axis parallel to the entrance surface (FAPS) but also to a filter with its axis inclined to the surface (FAIS). Also, the formula indicates that a FAIS allows laser wavelengths to be tuned over a wider range than does a FAPS. The origin of the wider range is interpreted to be the greater variation in the index for the FAIS while the filter is tuning. With the help of the formula we design a FAIS for tuning a cw Ti:sapphire laser.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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