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Modeling a wire grid polarizer.

  1. Sep 22, 2011 #1

    I keep myself busy by trying to model/predict standing waves in the optical path of a heterodyne spectrometer we built in our lab.

    We split and combine the local oscillator and the sky (it's for astronomy) with a beam splitter. Our beam splitters are wire grid polarizers.

    The Idea is simple: if our wire grid is in the (y;z) plane, with the wires along the z axis, then:
    • the z component of the electric field E of the incident wave is reflected
    • and the y component passes through.
    Therefore we split the incoming beam into two linearly polarized beams.

    First question:

    What happens to the x component of E ? E does have a component along x since the TEM wave can hit the grid at any angle.

    Second question:

    Modeling the grid at order 0 is trivial: just set up a matrix for a 4-port device with zeros and ones in it for each polarization. But reality is not that simple, and I need to include parameters such as the width of the wires, their spacing, and the resistivity of their metal. Also, I need to keep the phase information.

    How would you approach the problem ? I imagine that there is something smarter to do than brute-forcing Maxwell. :yuck:
  2. jcsd
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