Phenomenological and mathematical analyses of oblique incidence in
total-internal-reflection phase retarders and the procedure for constructing
extremely achromatic quarter-wave retarders are presented. It is shown that
the retardance can assume the same value twice at two definite spectral lines.
As an example, a quarter-wave phase retarder is described that introduces a
retardance of exactly 90° at two He–Ne laser lines of 632.8 and 1150
nm with a maximum deviation of 0.007° for other wavelengths between these
two lines. This application is advantageous in conjunction with two-line and
multiline lasers where the radiation is usually pumped in a state of circular
© 1997 Optical Society of America
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