Abstract

Birefringent interferometers are often used for compact static Fourier transform spectrometers. In such devices, several uniaxial birefringent parallel or prismatic plates are stacked, with their optical axes set so that there is an efficient coupling from ordinary to extraordinary and extraordinary to ordinary eigenmodes of two successive plates. Such coupling, aside from few particular cases, is, however, not perfect, an effect that may adversely affect performance. In order to help the design and the tolerancing of these interferometers, we have developed a numerical modeling based on the propagation of plane waves inside and through the interface of birefringent media. This tool evaluates the traveled optical path length and the amplitude of the different polarization modes, enabling prediction of both the optical path differences on the interferometer outputs and the unwanted coupling strengths and related stray wave amplitudes. The tool behavior is illustrated on Savart and double-Wollaston interferometers and compared with experimental characterization of a calcite double-Wollaston prism.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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