OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 39, Iss. 16 — Jun. 1, 2000
  • pp: 2695–2704

Singular Polarization Eigenstates in Anisotropic Stratified Structures

Luiz C. Meira-Belo and Ulisses A. Leião  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 39, Issue 16, pp. 2695-2704 (2000)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (151 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



A new optical element that displays singular polarization eigenstates is proposed. It consists of a planar stratified structure composed of alternate gyrotropic and birefringent layers. The orthogonality of the polarization eigenstates is lost because of anisotropic reflections at the interfaces, which are enhanced by the special condition chosen for the multiple-beam interference. First we show that the anisotropic reflection at the interface between the layers with linear and circular symmetries does produce strong enough dichroism to break the orthogonality of polarization eigenstates. Second, we investigate the behavior of these eigenstates with respect to their linearity and orthogonality as a function of the width of the layers. Our results concretely demonstrate that it is possible to control the effective optical parameters of such stratified structures by adjusting the thickness of each anisotropic layer. Finally, we obtain the necessary conditions for designing a double-layer system with singular eigenstates of linear polarization.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(230.4170) Optical devices : Multilayers
(230.5440) Optical devices : Polarization-selective devices
(260.1180) Physical optics : Crystal optics
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization

Luiz C. Meira-Belo and Ulisses A. Leião, "Singular Polarization Eigenstates in Anisotropic Stratified Structures," Appl. Opt. 39, 2695-2704 (2000)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. S. Pancharatnam, “Light propagation in absorbing crystals possessing optical activity,” Proc. Indian Acad. Sci. 48, 280–302 (1958).
  2. A. I. Okorochkov and A. F. Konstantantinova, “Influence of non-orthogonal characteristic waves in a crystal on the polarization of transmitted light,” Sov. Phys. Crystallogr. 30, 57–62 (1985).
  3. B. N. Grechushnikov and A. F. Konstantantinova, “Crystal optics of absorbing and gyrotropic media,” Comput. Math. Appl. 16, 637–655 (1988).
  4. A. F. Konstantinova and E. A. Evdischenko, “Some methods for determination of optical parameters in gyrotropic crystals,” in Polarimetry and Ellipsometry, K. Dolny, M. Pluta, and R. Wolinski, eds., Proc. SPIE 3094, 159–168 (1997).
  5. I. Prikryl, “Effect of disk birefringence on a differential magneto-optic readout,” Appl. Opt. 31, 1853–1862 (1992).
  6. Y. C. Hsieh and M. Mansuripur, “Image contrast in polarization microscopy of magneto-optical disk data-storage media through birefringent plastic substrates,” Appl. Opt. 36, 4839–4852 (1997).
  7. U. A. Leitão and L. C. Meira-Belo are preparing a manuscript to be called, “Non-orthogonal eigenstates of polarization in systems with superposition of optical effects.”
  8. R. M. A. Azzam and N. M. Bashara, Ellipsometry and Polarized Light (North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1979).
  9. H. Lang, “Polarization properties of optical resonators passive and active,” Ph.D. dissertation (University of Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 1966).
  10. K. Hoffman and R. Kunze, Linear Algebra (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1971).
  11. R. C. Jones, “A new calculus for the treatment of optical systems. VII. Properties of the N-matrices,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 38, 671–685 (1948).
  12. S. Teitler and B. W. Henvis, “Refraction in stratified, anisotropic media,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 60, 830–834 (1970).
  13. D. W. Berreman, “Optics in stratified and anisotropic media: 4 × 4-matrix formulation,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 62, 502–510 (1972).
  14. There is also γ(φ0, ψ) = 0 in the regions where the oscillatory behavior occurs; see Fig. 2. The optical behavior in these points are rather trivial and will be not discussed.

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited