Browse Prior Art Database

Light Beam Combiner

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000077844D
Original Publication Date: 1972-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-25
Document File: 2 page(s) / 33K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Wynne, JJ: AUTHOR

Abstract

It is often desirable to combine two linearly polarized light beams from two different sources into a collinear light beam. Conventional components used for this purpose are beam splitters such as multilayer dielectric coated flat plates, pellicles, or dichroic materials. A normal 50:50 beam splitter (See Fig. 1) could be used to combine two separate beams into two collinear beams, each containing one-half the power from each of the two incident beams.

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Light Beam Combiner

It is often desirable to combine two linearly polarized light beams from two different sources into a collinear light beam. Conventional components used for this purpose are beam splitters such as multilayer dielectric coated flat plates, pellicles, or dichroic materials. A normal 50:50 beam splitter (See Fig. 1) could be used to combine two separate beams into two collinear beams, each containing one-half the power from each of the two incident beams.

If one has two incident beams that are orthogonally polarized and wishes to have more than 50% of each incident beam in a common output beam, a Glan prism is an optical component capable of achieving such common output beam. As seen in Fig. 2A, a Glan prism, when incident unpolarized light impinges on its oblique face f, transmits 90% of the light polarized in the plane of incidence through the prism and reflects, at this oblique face, substantially 100% of the light normal to this plane of incidence. Thus, as seen in Fig. 2B, beam 1, polarized perpendicularly to the plane of the paper, will be reflected 100% by oblique face f and beam 2, polarized in the plane of incidence will be transmitted 90% by the prism. The composite beam C is more energetic than a similar composite beam obtained by the use of conventional beam splitters. In addition, the Glan prism is relatively insensitive to wavelength and may perform this function over a wavelength region, which includes the entire visible region of...