Angular dependence of polarizing beam-splitter cubes

J. Larry Pezzaniti, Russell A. Chipman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The field-of-view dependence of polarizing beam-splitter cubes has been studied to characterize their behavior in imaging systems such as optical computers and optical correlators and in other applications that involve noncollimated light. Significant polarization aberration is present in polarizing beamsplitter cubes for two reasons: (1) the s- andp-component orientations, which define the polarizing axes, at the beam-splitting interface vary with the direction of propagation, and (2) the performance of the coating is a function of the angle of incidence. We describe the polarization aberration of a polarizing beam-splitter cube in terms of its diattenuation (polarizing efficiency). We use an imaging polarimeter to measure six figures of merit for three polarizing beam-splitter cubes demonstrating typical polarization aberrations. Finally, we derive the Mueller matrix for a polarizing beam-splitter cube in terms of the s andp transmittance and reflectance and the phase retardances, the parameters generally calculated with thin-film analysis programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1916-1929
Number of pages14
JournalApplied optics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Apr 1994


  • Polarimetry
  • Polarization aberration
  • Polarizing beam-splitter cube

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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