In this paper, the phase effects of secondary reflections in reflective liquid-crystal cells are explored. The existence of such secondary reflections are analytically predicted and experimentally verified. The wavelength dependence of the phenomena is used to explore the magnitude of the effect. Changes of the net retardation due to these secondary reflections are measured to be +/- 3%. Numerical modeling verifies that the root cause of these changes is secondary reflections, and that as much as 10% change can be obtained for different liquid-crystal cell thicknesses and material compositions. The deleterious effects of these secondary reflections are explored from a device performance perspective, and found to be most harmful for incident light with a broad spectral bandwidth.
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