Abstract

An analytically tractable design procedure is presented for a polarizing beam splitter (PBS) that uses frustrated total internal reflection and optical tunneling by a symmetric LHL trilayer thin-film stack embedded in a high-index prism. Considerable simplification arises when the refractive index of the high-index center layer H matches the refractive index of the prism and its thickness is quarter-wave. This leads to a cube design in which zero reflection for the p polarization is achieved at a 45° angle of incidence independent of the thicknesses of the identical symmetric low-index tunnel layers L and L. Arbitrarily high reflectance for the s polarization is obtained at subwavelength thicknesses of the tunnel layers. This is illustrated by an IR Si-cube PBS that uses an embedded ZnS–Si–ZnS trilayer stack.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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