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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A

| OPTICS, IMAGE SCIENCE, AND VISION

  • Vol. 22, Iss. 9 — Sep. 1, 2005
  • pp: 1981–1992

Propagation of polarized light through two- and three-layer anisotropic stacks

Richard A. Farrell, Daniel Rouseff, and Russell L. McCally  »View Author Affiliations


JOSA A, Vol. 22, Issue 9, pp. 1981-1992 (2005)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/JOSAA.22.001981


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Abstract

The extended Jones formulation is used to investigate propagation at nonnormal incidence through two- and three-layer systems of birefringent material in which the optic axes of the individual layers are in the plane of the layers. Such systems are equivalent to two optical elements in series—an equivalent retardation plate and a polarization rotator. Analytical solutions are obtained for the equivalent retardation and rotation. The major finding is that, in general, there are two nonnormal incidence directions for which the retardation vanishes; therefore these two directions are optic axes of the composite system. These simple layered systems therefore behave in a manner similar to biaxial crystals. Moreover, the results illustrate the fact that even if the optic axes of individual layers in composite systems are in the plane of the layers, the optic axes of the system are, in general, out of this plane.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(170.4470) Medical optics and biotechnology : Ophthalmology
(260.1440) Physical optics : Birefringence
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization

History
Original Manuscript: January 7, 2005
Revised Manuscript: March 10, 2005
Published: September 1, 2005

Citation
Richard A. Farrell, Daniel Rouseff, and Russell L. McCally, "Propagation of polarized light through two- and three-layer anisotropic stacks," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 22, 1981-1992 (2005)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/josaa/abstract.cfm?URI=josaa-22-9-1981


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References

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  23. As used by Jones, S(ϕ) has the effect of rotating a vector counterclockwise through an angle ϕ. S(−ϕ) is the standard rotation matrix used to express a vector in a coordinate system rotated counterclockwise by an angle ϕ from the “laboratory system.”
  24. This can be shown rigorously by examining the implications of setting θ=0 in Eq. (19). Doing so, and realizing that both of the squared terms must be zero in order for γ¯ to be zero, we obtain two equations for tan2ϕr as functions of ϕ3. We used Mathematica to show that the two equations do not have a common solution.
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  27. R. W. Knighton, X.-R. Huang, “Linear birefringence of the central human cornea,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Visual Sci. 43, 82–86 (2002).

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