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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: James C. Wyant
  • Vol. 45, Iss. 27 — Sep. 20, 2006
  • pp: 6982–6989

Achromatic half-wave plate for submillimeter instruments in cosmic microwave background astronomy: experimental characterization

Giampaolo Pisano, Giorgio Savini, Peter A. R. Ade, Vic Haynes, and Walter K. Gear  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 45, Issue 27, pp. 6982-6989 (2006)

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An achromatic half-wave plate (HWP) to be used in millimeter cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization experiments has been designed, manufactured, and tested. The design is based on the 5-plates Pancharatnam recipe and it works in the frequency range 85 185 GHz . A model has been used to predict the transmission, reflection, absorption, and phase shift as a function of frequency. The HWP has been tested by using coherent radiation from a back-wave oscillator to investigate its modulation efficiency and with incoherent radiation from a polarizing Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS) to explore its frequency behavior. The FTS measurements have been fitted with an optical performance model which is in excellent agreement with the data. A detailed analysis of the data also allows a precise determination of the HWP fast and slow axes in the frequency band of operation. A list of the HWP performance characteristics is reported including estimates of its cross polarization.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.5410) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Polarimetry
(230.0230) Optical devices : Optical devices
(230.5440) Optical devices : Polarization-selective devices
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization
(350.1260) Other areas of optics : Astronomical optics

Original Manuscript: January 17, 2006
Revised Manuscript: May 6, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: May 9, 2006

Giampaolo Pisano, Giorgio Savini, Peter A. R. Ade, Vic Haynes, and Walter K. Gear, "Achromatic half-wave plate for submillimeter instruments in cosmic microwave background astronomy: experimental characterization," Appl. Opt. 45, 6982-6989 (2006)

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