We demonstrate a broadband, thin-film, polarizing beam splitter based on an anisotropic diffraction grating composed of reactive mesogens (polymerizable liquid crystals). This achromatic polarization grating (PG) manifests high diffraction efficiency and high extinction ratio in both theory and experiment. We show an operational bandwidth (roughly spanning visible wavelength range) that represents more than a fourfold increase of bandwidth over conventional PGs (and significantly larger than any other grating). The diffraction angle and operational region (visible, near-infrared, midwave infrared, and ultraviolet wavelengths) may be easily tailored during fabrication. The essence of the achromatic design is a stack of two chiral PGs with an opposite twist sense and employs the principle of retardation compensation. We fully characterize its optical properties and derive the theoretical diffraction behavior.
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