Abstract

The quasi-optical modulation of linear polarization at millimeter and sub-millimeter wavelengths can be achieved by using rotating half-wave plates (HWPs) in front of polarization-sensitive detectors. Large operational bandwidths are required when the same device is meant to work simultaneously across different frequency bands. Previous realizations of half-wave plates, ranging from birefringent multi-plates to mesh-based devices, have achieved bandwidths of the order of 100%. Here we present the design and experimental characterization of a reflective HWP able to work across bandwidths of the order of 150%. The working principle of the novel device is completely different from any previous realization, and it is based on the different phase-shift experienced by two orthogonal polarizations reflecting, respectively, off an electric conductor and an artificial magnetic conductor.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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