We develop a theoretical description for polarizers that goes beyond the paraxial approximation. By combining existing theories for fields with nonplanar wavefronts, we are able to derive a simple power series expansion expressing the electric field of a light beam after a polarizer as a linear function of the field and its spatial derivatives evaluated before the polarizer. The first few terms of such expansion are explicitly given, and their physical meaning is discussed.
© 2009 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: July 14, 2009
Revised Manuscript: September 15, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: September 15, 2009
Published: October 9, 2009
Andrea Aiello, Christoph Marquardt, and Gerd Leuchs, "Nonparaxial polarizers," Opt. Lett. 34, 3160-3162 (2009)