Nano-imprinted subwavelength gratings as polarizing beamsplitters

Polarizing beamsplitters have numerous applications in optical systems, such as systems for freeform surface metrology. They are classically manufactured from birefringent materials or with stacks of dielectric coatings. We present a binary subwavelength-structured form-birefringent diffraction grating, which acts as a polarizing beamsplitter for a wide range of incidence angles -30°…+30°. We refine the general design method for such hybrid gratings. We furthermore demonstrate the manufacturing steps with Soft-UV-Nanoimprint-Lithography, as well as the experimental verification, that the structure reliably acts as a polarizing beamsplitter. The experimental results show a contrast in efficiency for TE- and TM-polarization of up to 1:18 in the first order, and 34:1 in the zeroth order. The grating potentially enables us to realize integrated compact optical measurement systems, such as common-path interferometers.


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