Abstract

We compare three technological approaches for quarter-wave retarders within the context of polarimetric-imaging applications in the long-wave infrared (LWIR) spectrum. Performance of a commercial cadmium sulfide (CdS) crystalline waveplate, a multilayer meanderline structure, and a silicon (Si) form-birefringent retarder are evaluated under conditions of 8–12 μm broadband radiation emerging from an F/1 focusing objective. Metrics used for this comparison are the spectrally dependent axial ratio, retardance, and polarization-averaged power transmittance, which are averaged over the angular range of interest. These parameters correspond to the characteristics that would be observed at the focal-plane array (FPA) detector of an LWIR imaging polarimeter.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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