Skew aberration analysis

Garam Young, Russell A. Chipman

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


Skew aberration is an intrinsic rotation of polarization states due to the geometric transformation of local coordinates via parallel transport of vectors. Skew aberration is a component of polarization aberration but is independent of the incident polarization state or the coatings applied to the optical interface. Skew aberration occurs even for rays propagating through ideal, aberration-free, and non-polarizing optical systems. Skew aberration is typically a small effect in optical systems but it should be of concern in microlithography optics and other polarization sensitive systems with high numerical aperture and large field of view. The variation of skew aberration across the exit pupil causes undesired polarization components in the exit pupil. Typically cross polarized satellites form around the point spread function (PSF). The PSF and optical transfer function (OTF) are different from ideal PSF or OTF and thus the image quality can be degraded. In the presence of polarization aberration, the scalar PSF and OTF can be generalized to a two-by-two point spread matrix (PSM) or optical transfer matrix (OTM) in Jones matrix notation. We demonstrate analysis of skew aberration effects separate from other polarization aberrations by using a two-by-two PSM and OTM of the U.S. patent 2,896,506. We demonstrate a relationship between skew aberration, Lagrange invariant and the sum of the individual surface powers of the system, using paraxial optics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptical Systems Design 2012
StatePublished - 2012
EventOptical Systems Design 2012 - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: Nov 26 2012Nov 29 2012

Publication series

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


OtherOptical Systems Design 2012


  • 3D polarization ray tracing
  • Geometric transformation
  • Parallel transport of vectors
  • Polarization aberration
  • Skew aberration

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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