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Optics Letters

| RAPID, SHORT PUBLICATIONS ON THE LATEST IN OPTICAL DISCOVERIES

  • Vol. 21, Iss. 23 — Dec. 1, 1996
  • pp: 1948–1950

Linearly polarized light with axial symmetry generated by liquid-crystal polarization converters

M. Stalder and M. Schadt  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Letters, Vol. 21, Issue 23, pp. 1948-1950 (1996)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.21.001948


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Abstract

Novel liquid-crystal devices are described that generate linearly polarized light with axial symmetry; the beam propagation axis is the symmetry axis. Such light fields can be characterized by a polarization order number P. For example, P = 1 fields represent radially or azimuthally polarized light. The reorientation of the polarization orientation in these polarization converters is due to the twisted nematic effect and the effect of λ/2 wave plates. A single polarization converter can generate fields of orders 1 and 2. It is shown that one can in principle generate fields of any integral order P by cascading such elements. Devices that generate P = 1 fields are achromatic and can be used as polarization axis finders or as versatile tools for studying birefringent or polarizing materials.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

History
Original Manuscript: July 15, 1996
Published: December 1, 1996

Citation
M. Stalder and M. Schadt, "Linearly polarized light with axial symmetry generated by liquid-crystal polarization converters," Opt. Lett. 21, 1948-1950 (1996)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ol/abstract.cfm?URI=ol-21-23-1948


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References

  1. E.g., Oriel Corporation, Stratford, Conn., part number 25325.
  2. D. Pohl, Appl. Phys. Lett. 20, 266 (1972). [CrossRef]
  3. S. C. Tidwell, D. H. Ford, W. D. Kimura, Appl. Opt. 29, 2234 (1990). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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  9. The emerging polarization fields are not purely radially or azimuthally polarized light. The fields are described by ϕrad(θ) = θ modulo π and ϕazi(θ) = θ + π/2 modulo π. But this difference cannot be distinguished with the experiments presented here. In a further publication to be submitted to Opt. Lett. we will show how to overcome this modulo π problem.
  10. M. Stalder, M. Schadt, Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 282, 343 (1996). [CrossRef]

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