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An all-transparent symmetric trilayer structure, which consists of a high-index center layer coated on both sides by a low-index film and embedded in a high-index prism, can function as an efficient polarizer or polarizing beam splitter under conditions of frustrated total internal reflection over a wide range of incidence angles. For a given set of refractive indices, all possible solutions for the thicknesses of the layers that suppress the reflection of either the p or s polarization at a specified angle, as well as the reflectance of the system for the orthogonal polarization, are determined. A 633 nm design that uses a MgF2-ZnS-MgF2 trilayer embedded in a ZnS prism achieves an extinction ratio (ER)>40 dB from 50° to 80° in reflection and an ER>20 dB from 58° to 80° in transmission. IR polarizers that use CaF2-Ge-CaF2 trilayers embedded in a ZnS prism are also considered.

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Applied Optics


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