This paper presents a novel design for broadband zero-order half-wave plates to eliminate the first-order or up to second-order wavelength-dependent birefringent phase retardation (BPR) with 2 or 3 different birefringent materials. The residual BPRs of the plates increase monotonously with the wavelength deviation from a selected wavelength, so the plates are applicable to the broadband light pulses which gather most of the light energy around their central wavelengths. The model chooses the materials by the birefringent dispersion coefficient and evaluates the performances of the plates by the weighted average of the absolute value of residual BPR in order to emphasize the contributions of the incident spectral components whose possess higher energies.
©2011 Optical Society of America
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