Abstract

In the few exceptional cases of total internal reflection phase retarders that are weakly sensitive to variations in the input angle of incidence i, the devices are of increasingly larger size; deviate or translate the emergent beam; are difficult to align in optical systems; or, in coated rhombs, have an impermanent stability of the retardance. Based on new compensating effects, novel devices of high retardance stability and advantageous characteristics are presented. One device is stable to within 0.09° of 90° for i ± 3°. It is a two-reflection quarter-wave retarder that does not alter the path of the compact size light beam, is of compact size (one seventh the size occupied by the achromatic device AD-1 for equal aperture lengths), and can be easily aligned in optical systems or used as a rotating element. The path length of the beam inside the device is less than one third the corresponding length inside the achromatic device AD-1.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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