Abstract

A centrosymmetric multilayer stack of two transparent materials, which is embedded in a high-index prism, can function as a complete-transmission quarter-wave or half-wave retarder (QWR or HWR) under conditions of frustrated total internal reflection. The multilayer consists of a high-index center layer sandwiched between two identical low-index films with high-index–low-index bilayers repeated on both sides of the central trilayer, maintaining the symmetry of the entire stack and constituting a QWR (Δt=90° or 270°) or HWR (Δt=180°) in transmission. A QWR design at wavelength λ=1.55μm is presented that employs an 11-layer stack of Si and SiO2 thin films, which is embedded in a GaP cube prism. The intensity transmittances for the p and s polarizations remain >99% and Δt deviates from 90° by <±3° over a 100nm spectral bandwidth (1.5λ1.6μm), and by ±7° over an internal field view of ±1° (incidence angle 44°ϕ046° inside the prism). An HWR design at λ=1.55μm employs seven layers of Si and SiO2 thin films embedded in a Si cube, has an average transmittance >93%, and Δt that differs from 180° by <±0.3° over a 100nm bandwidth (1.5λ1.6μm) and by <±17° over an internal field view of ±1°. The sensitivity of these devices to film-thickness errors is also considered.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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