The design steps for film–substrate single-reflection retarders are briefly stated and applied to the SiO2–Si film–substrate system at wavelength 6328 Å. The criterion of minimum-maximum error of the ellipsometric angle ψ is used to choose angle-of-incidence-tunable designs. Use is made of the (ϕ-d) plane (angle of incidence versus thickness) to determine whether a given film–substrate system with known optical properties and film thickness can operate as a reflection retarder and to determine the associated angles of incidence and retardation angles. This leads to the concept of permissible-thickness bands and forbidden gaps for operation of a film–substrate system as a reflection retarder. Experimental measurements on one of the proposed designs proved the validity of the method.
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