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Implementing achromatic diffractive waveplate optics with thin, uniformly birefringent layers

Roberts, David E. and Sigley, Justin and Ouskova, Olena and Pshenichnii, Andrii and Tabiryan, Nelson V. and Ruane, Garreth and Serabyn, Eugene (2022) Implementing achromatic diffractive waveplate optics with thin, uniformly birefringent layers. In: 2022 IEEE Aerospace Conference (AERO). IEEE , Piscataway, NJ, pp. 1-8. ISBN 978-1-6654-3760-8.

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Vector Vortex Coronagraphs can potentially exhibit superior performance in terms of starlight rejection compared to alternative coronagraph technologies aimed at exoplanet detection. Vector Vortex Waveplates (VVWs) acting as coronagraph masks are micrometer-thin with nanometer-smooth continuous structure when fabricated using liquid crystal polymers (LCPs). LCPs allow different architectures for spectrally broadband performance. In this paper, we investigate classical, so-called Pancharatnam, architectures of a system of waveplates, applied to diffractive waveplates, particularly VVWs. These classical architectures involve multiple birefringent layers with angular offsets between each pair of adjacent layers. Along with ensuring high efficiency/contrast with simple structures, they allow manufacturing advantages due to the use of a single material with no additional internal twist angle optimization requirement, and high yield due to separate fabrication of individual films. The technological challenge of combining films with high resolution patterning is overcome by using micromechanical alignment tools which also allow exploring the effects of alignment between the films for controlling optical properties of the system of diffractive waveplates.

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Ruane, Garreth0000-0003-4769-1665
Additional Information:© 2022 IEEE.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220811-935505000
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:116245
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:15 Aug 2022 19:38
Last Modified:15 Aug 2022 19:38

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