OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 50, Iss. 19 — Jul. 1, 2011
  • pp: 3316–3320

Simplified design of thin-film polarizing beam splitter using embedded symmetric trilayer stack

R. M. A. Azzam  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 50, Issue 19, pp. 3316-3320 (2011)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (381 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



An analytically tractable design procedure is presented for a polarizing beam splitter (PBS) that uses frustrated total internal reflection and optical tunneling by a symmetric LHL trilayer thin-film stack embedded in a high-index prism. Considerable simplification arises when the refractive index of the high-index center layer H matches the refractive index of the prism and its thickness is quarter-wave. This leads to a cube design in which zero reflection for the p polarization is achieved at a 45 ° angle of incidence independent of the thicknesses of the identical symmetric low-index tunnel layers L and L. Arbitrarily high reflectance for the s polarization is obtained at subwavelength thicknesses of the tunnel layers. This is illustrated by an IR Si-cube PBS that uses an embedded ZnS–Si–ZnS trilayer stack.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(230.1360) Optical devices : Beam splitters
(230.5440) Optical devices : Polarization-selective devices
(240.0310) Optics at surfaces : Thin films
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization
(310.6860) Thin films : Thin films, optical properties

ToC Category:
Optical Devices

Original Manuscript: March 28, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: May 6, 2011
Published: July 1, 2011

R. M. A. Azzam, "Simplified design of thin-film polarizing beam splitter using embedded symmetric trilayer stack," Appl. Opt. 50, 3316-3320 (2011)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. S. M. MacNeille, “Beam splitter,” U. S. patent 2,403,731 (9 July 1946).
  2. M. Banning, “Practical methods of making and using multilayer filters,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 37, 792–795 (1947). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. R. P. Netterfield, “Practical thin-film polarizing beam splitters,” J. Mod. Opt. 24, 69–79 (1977). [CrossRef]
  4. D. Lees and P. Baumeister, “Versatile frustrated-total-reflection polarizer for the infrared,” Opt. Lett. 4, 66–67(1979). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. R. M. A. Azzam, “Polarizing beam splitters for infrared and millimeter waves using single-layer-coated dielectric slab or unbacked films,” Appl. Opt. 25, 4225–4227 (1986). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. M. Gilo and K. Rabinovitch, “Design parameters of thin-film cubic-type polarizers for high power lasers,” Appl. Opt. 26, 2518–2521 (1987). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. J. Mouchart, J. Begel, and E. Duda, “Modified MacNeille cube polarizer for a wide angular field,” Appl. Opt. 28, 2847–2853(1989). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. L. Li and J. A. Dobrowolski, “Visible broadband, wide-angle, thin-film multilayer polarizing beam splitter,” Appl. Opt. 35, 2221–2225 (1996). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. L. Li and J. A. Dobrowolski, “High-performance thin film polarizing beam splitter operating at angles greater than the critical angle,” Appl. Opt. 39, 2754–2771 (2000). [CrossRef]
  10. B. V. Blanckenhagen, “Practical layer design for polarizing beam-splitter cubes,” Appl. Opt. 45, 1539–1543 (2006). [CrossRef]
  11. R. M. A. Azzam and S. R. Perla, “Polarizing properties of embedded symmetric trilayer stacks under conditions of frustrated total internal reflection,” Appl. Opt. 45, 1650–1656(2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. R. M. A. Azzam and S. R. Perla, “Errata,” Appl. Opt. 46, 431–433 (2007). [CrossRef]
  13. R. M. A. Azzam, “Phase shifts that accompany total internal reflection at a dielectric-dielectric interface,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 21, 1559–1563 (2004). [CrossRef]
  14. F. Abelès, “Un théoreme relatif à la réflexion métallique,” C. R. Hebd. Seances Acad. Sci. 230, 1942–1943 (1950).
  15. S. R. Perla and R. M. A. Azzam, “Wide-angle, high-extinction-ratio, infrared polarizing beam splitters using frustrated total internal reflection by an embedded centro-symmetric multilayer,” Appl. Opt. 46, 4604–4612(2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

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.


Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited