We define a new class of aberration, skew aberration, which is a component of polarization aberration. Skew aberration is an intrinsic rotation of polarization states due to the geometric transformation of local coordinates, independent of coatings and interface polarization. Skew aberration in a radially symmetric system has the form of a circular retardance tilt plus coma aberration. Skew aberration causes undesired polarization distribution in the exit pupil. We demonstrate statistics on skew aberration of 2383 optical systems described in Code V’s U.S. patent library [Code V Version 10.3 (Synopsys, 2011), pp. 22–24]; the mean skew aberration is and the standard deviation is . The maximum skew aberration found is and the minimum is . U.S. patent 2,896,506, which has of skew aberration, is analyzed in detail. Skew aberration should be of concern in microlithography optics and other high NA and large field of view optical systems.
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