Abstract

We investigated theoretically the interference of two counterpropagating polarized light beams in optically anisotropic media whose optical axis is in the film plane and is gradually rotated around the thickness direction. Results indicated that pure polarization modulation without intensity variation is obtained in the inhomogeneous media when the total angle of the rotation is much smaller than the total retardation. Reflective anisotropic gratings recorded by the polarization modulation were formulated as the perturbation of the dielectric tensor, and diffraction properties were studied using coupled-wave analysis (CWA) and a numerical method. By assuming that the period of the intrinsic distribution is substantially larger than that of the induced one, we demonstrated that CWA estimates the diffraction efficiency and the polarization state of the diffracted light with high accuracy.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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