Abstract

A simple binary polarization modulator is described that periodically switches the polarization of a monochromatic light beam between orthogonal linear, circular, or elliptical states. It consists of a synchronously rotating disk whose planar surface is divided into annuli. Each annulus is segmented by radial lines into sectors, and each sector is coated by a thin film that reflects light of only one of two orthogonal states. Multiple annuli may be used for multiple-wavelength operation. Although a single layer is adequate to achieve the desired effect, multilayers would be required for higher performance standards.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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