Abstract

Ordinary gratings act on the amplitude and (or) the phase of a wave front. Polarization gratings produce instead a periodic modulation of the state of polarization. A simple grating of the latter type is constituted by a linear polarizer whose orientation varies periodically along a line. It is shown that, for a generic polarization state of the incident field, such a grating gives rise to first-order diffracted beams with counterrotating circular polarizations. It is also shown that such a grating can be used for measuring the Stokes parameters of a light beam in an achromatic manner. Several extensions are briefly discussed.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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