OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 18, Iss. 2 — Feb. 1, 2001
  • pp: 421–425

Tilted bilayer membranes as simple transmission quarter-wave retardation plates

R. M. A. Azzam and Fadi A. Mahmoud  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 18, Issue 2, pp. 421-425 (2001)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (211 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



A tilted bilayer membrane, which consists of two thin films of transparent optically isotropic materials of different refractive indices, can function as a transmission quarter-wave retarder (QWR) at a high angle of incidence. A specific design using a cryolite-Si membrane in the infrared is presented, and its tolerances to small shifts of wavelength, incidence angle, and film thickness errors are discussed. Some designs provide a dual QWR in transmission and reflection. Such devices provide simple linear-to-circular (and circular-to-linear) polarization transformers. Bilayer eighth-wave retarders without diattenuation are also introduced.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.2130) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Ellipsometry and polarimetry
(230.0230) Optical devices : Optical devices
(240.0310) Optics at surfaces : Thin films
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization

Original Manuscript: June 5, 2000
Revised Manuscript: August 22, 2000
Manuscript Accepted: August 22, 2000
Published: February 1, 2001

R. M. A. Azzam and Fadi A. Mahmoud, "Tilted bilayer membranes as simple transmission quarter-wave retardation plates," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 18, 421-425 (2001)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. See, for example, D. Clarke, J. F. Grainger, Polarized Light and Optical Measurement (Pergamon, Oxford, UK, 1971).
  2. D. A. Holmes, “Wave optics theory of rotatory compensators,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 54, 1340–1347 (1964). [CrossRef]
  3. R. M. A. Azzam, “Transmission ellipsometry on transparent unbacked or embedded thin films with application to soap films in air,” Appl. Opt. 30, 2801–2806 (1991). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. W. H. Southwell, “Multilayer coating design achieving a broadband 90° phase shift,” Appl. Opt. 19, 2688–2692 (1980). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. J. H. Apfel, “Phase retardance of periodic multilayer mirrors,” Appl. Opt. 21, 733–738 (1982). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. M. M. K. Howlader, R. M. A. Azzam, “Periodic and quasiperiodic nonquarterwave multilayer coatings for 90-deg reflection phase retardance at 45-deg angle of incidence,” Opt. Eng. 34, 869–875 (1995). [CrossRef]
  7. R. M. A. Azzam, N. M. Bashara, Ellipsometry and Polarized Light (North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1987).
  8. E. D. Palik, ed., Handbook of Optical Constants of Solids (Academic, New York, 1985).
  9. A. Kyrala, Applied Functions of a Complex Variable (Wiley-Interscience, New York, 1972).
  10. R. A. Chipman, “Polarization analysis of optical systems,” Opt. Eng. 28, 90–99 (1989).
  11. J. A. Dobrowolski, “Optical properties of films and coatings,” in Handbook of Optics, M. Bass, editor-in-chief (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1995), Vol. I, Chap. 42.

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