Mueller matrix maps of dichroic filters reveal polarization aberrations

James Heath, Meredith Kupinski, Ewan Douglas, Kira Hart, James Breckinridge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


Dichroic filters are used by instrument designers to split a field of view into different optical paths for simultaneous measurement of different spectral bands. Quantifying the polarization aberrations of a dichroic is relevant for predicting the incident polarization states downstream, which could affect the performance of diffraction limited systems. One important application is the fore-optics of exoplanet imaging coronagraphs. In this work, the polarization properties of the Edmund #69-205 650 nm roll-off dichroic are measured using a rotating retarder Mueller matrix imaging polarimeter. The polarization properties of this commercial dichroic are compared at normal and 45° angle of incidence. The normal incidence measurements verify the instrument calibration since no polarization aberrations were observed. Transmission measurements at 680 nm and 45° yield a 2.9 rad magnitude of retardance and 0.95 diattenuation. Effectively, at 630 nm the dichroic is a λ/4 waveplate with a horizontal fast-axis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2020
Subtitle of host publicationOptical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
EditorsMakenzie Lystrup, Marshall D. Perrin
ISBN (Electronic)9781510636736
StatePublished - 2020
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2020: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Dec 14 2020Dec 22 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2020: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online


  • Coronagraphs
  • Dichroic
  • Mueller matrix polarimetry
  • Polarization
  • Thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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