# Width of a wire grid polarizer

• deep838
This helps to maintain the polarization of the incident light. In summary, the width of a wire grid polarizer needs to be less than the wavelength of the wave to minimize light scattering and maintain the polarization of the incident light. If the width was slightly larger, the polarizer would appear as an array of discrete scatterers and may not effectively maintain the polarization.
deep838
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?

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.

Andy Resnick said:
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.

how does that reduce the scattering of light.?

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

The width of a wire grid polarizer is an important factor in its ability to polarize light waves. This is because the width of the wire grid must be smaller than the wavelength of the light wave in order to effectively polarize it.

This is due to the principle of diffraction, which states that when a wave passes through an opening or around an obstacle, it will spread out and interfere with itself. If the width of the wire grid is larger than the wavelength of the light wave, the diffraction effect will be too strong and the polarizing effect will be greatly diminished.

On the other hand, if the width of the wire grid is slightly larger than the wavelength, the polarizing effect will still occur, but it will be less efficient. This can result in a decrease in the intensity of the polarized light and a decrease in the contrast of the polarized image.

In order to ensure maximum polarization efficiency, it is important to carefully design and manufacture wire grid polarizers with widths that are smaller than the wavelengths of the light waves they are intended to polarize. This allows for optimal control of the polarization of the light, leading to more accurate and reliable results in scientific experiments and applications.

## 1. What is a wire grid polarizer?

A wire grid polarizer is a type of polarizer that consists of a series of parallel metal wires embedded in a transparent substrate. These wires act as a filter for light waves, allowing only waves that are polarized in a specific direction to pass through.

## 2. How does a wire grid polarizer work?

A wire grid polarizer works by selectively absorbing light waves that are polarized in the wrong direction. When unpolarized light enters the polarizer, it is filtered through the parallel wires and only waves that align with the wires' direction are able to pass through. This results in a polarized output of light.

## 3. What is the width of a wire grid polarizer?

The width of a wire grid polarizer can vary depending on the specific design and application. However, in general, the width of the wires is typically on the order of micrometers (µm) or nanometers (nm).

## 4. What are the advantages of using a wire grid polarizer?

Wire grid polarizers have several advantages over other types of polarizers, including high transmission efficiency, low reflection, and wide spectral bandwidth. They are also thin, lightweight, and can be easily integrated into optical systems.

## 5. How are wire grid polarizers used in scientific research?

Wire grid polarizers are commonly used in scientific research for a variety of applications, such as polarimetry, spectroscopy, and microscopy. They can also be used in optical systems for controlling light polarization in experiments and measurements.

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