Abstract

We propose a common-path lateral-shearing nulling interferometer for direct detection of exoplanets. A Savart plate is placed between crossed polarizers to produce a lateral shear and realize fully achromatic and highly stable nulling interference for starlight. We construct a double-shearing interferometer using two Savart plates for implementing orthogonal x and y shears. A laboratory demonstration is carried out using a broadband light source with a bandwidth of Δλ/λ0=0.33 (Δλ=0.2μm and λ0=0.6μm). As a result, achieved extinction levels are 4×104 at peak and 4×107 at 10λ0/DL (DL is the diameter of a Lyot stop).

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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