Birefringent filter with amplitude beats

D. Puerto , A. Vargas, I Moreno , MD Sanchez-Lopez and P Velasquez


In this work, we show a very simple birefringent filter useful to modulate a broadband light spectrum. We first show the generation of various oscillating spectra using two identical multiple-order waveplates. In particular a sinusoidal broadband spectrum with it rapid oscillation is obtained. This spectrum is amplitude modulated by adding another waveplate to the system. This waveplate has a small phase shift, and with the proper orientation generates amplitude beats on the broadband spectrum. Finally, we show how this system can be voltage controlled by means of a ferroelectric liquid crystal modulator. We experimentally demonstrate this behavior with the aid of a portable spectrophotometer, and we provide a theoretical explanation on the basis of the Jones matrix formalism. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.