Abstract

The condition of minimum deviation (MD) by a transparent optically isotropic prism is re-derived, and expressions for the intensity transmittances Tp(θ) and Ts(θ) of an uncoated prism of refractive index n and prism angle α for incident p- and s-polarized light and their derivatives with respect to the internal angle of refraction θ are obtained. When the MD condition (θ=α/2) is satisfied, Ts is maximum and Tp is maximum or minimum. The transmission ellipsometric parameters ψt,Δt of a symmetrically coated prism are also shown to be locally stationary with respect to θ at θ=α/2. The constraint on (n,α) for maximally flat transmittance (MFT) of p-polarized light at and near the MD condition is determined. The transmittance Tp of prisms represented by points that lie below the locus (n,α) of MFT exhibits oscillation as a function of θ. No similar behavior is found for the s polarization. Magnitudes and angular positions of the maxima and minima of the oscillatory Tp-versus-θ curves are also calculated as functions of α for a ZnS prism of refractive index n=2.35 in the visible.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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