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Width of a wire grid polarizer

  1. Jul 22, 2014 #1
    Why is it that the width of a wire grid polarizer has to be less than the wavelength of the wave which I want to polarize? What would happen if the width was a little bit more?
     
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  3. Jul 22, 2014 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    If I understand you correctly, the spacing between the wires of a wire polarizer need to be less than a wavelength to minimize light scattering- you want the field to respond to 'macroscopic' (spatially averaged) properties of the device, not the microscopic structure, similar to how visible polarizers use long-chain molecules to act as an anisotropic medium.
     
  4. Jul 22, 2014 #3

    how does that reduce the scattering of light.?
     
  5. Jul 25, 2014 #4

    Andy Resnick

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    The polarizer would then appear to be a homogeneous object, not an array of discrete scatterers.
     
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