Abstract

In this paper, we present a solution for creating robust monolithic achromatic half-wave plates (HWPs) for the infrared, based on the form birefringence of subwavelength gratings (SWGs) made out of diamond. We use the rigorous coupled wave analysis to design the gratings. Our analysis shows that diamond, besides its outstanding physical and mechanical properties, is a suitable substrate to manufacture mid-infrared HWPs, thanks to its high refractive index, which allows etching SWGs with lower aspect ratio. Based on our optimized design, we manufactured a diamond HWP for the 11–13.2 μm region, with an estimated mean retardance 3.143±0.061rad (180.08±3.51°). In addition, an antireflective grating was etched on the backside of the wave plate, allowing a total transmittance between 89% and 95% over the band.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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