Abstract

Reflection and refraction of monochromatic light by an air–dielectric interface at an incidence angle below the Brewster angle can generate split beams of equal power and orthogonal polarizations under certain achievable conditions. Generation of photon streams of orthogonal polarizations, previously thought to be possible mainly by double refraction in anisotropic crystals, is achieved for an infinite set of input states that leads to a correspondingly infinite set of pairs of orthogonal output states. A bare substrate of PbTe is particularly suitable for this beam splitting function in the IR. However, use of a high-refractive-index quarter-wave layer on a low-refractive-index substrate extends the operating range of this interesting device to a much wider spectral range including the visible.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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