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Wave-plate retarders based on overhead transparencies

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Abstract

We describe procedures for constructing inexpensive wave plates of desired retardation out of ordinary commercially available transparencies. Various relevant properties of the transparencies are investigated: the dependence of retardation on rotation of the film, tilt, wavelength, position, and temperature. A transparency is typically a multiple-order wave plate with the difference of in-plane refractive indices of 0.07 and a temperature dependence of retardation 0.02rad/K. Constructing wave plates out of combinations of transparency sheets is also explored.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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