Departmental Papers (ESE)


A thin film polarization filter has been patterned and etched using reactive ion etching (RIE) in order to create 8 by 8 microns square periodic structures. The micropolarization filters retain the original extinction ratios of the unpatterned thin film. The measured extinction ratios on the micropolarization filters are ~1000 in the blue and green visible spectrum and ~100 in the red spectrum. Various gas combinations for RIE have been explored in order to determine the right concentration mix of CF4 and O2 that gives optimum etching rate, in terms of speed and under-etching. Theoretical explanation for the optimum etching rate has also been presented. In addition, anisotropic etching with 1μm under cutting of a 10μm thick film has been achieved. Experimental results for the patterned structures under polarized light are presented. The array of micropolarizers will be deposited on top of a custom made CMOS imaging sensor in order to compute the first three Stokes parameters in real time.

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

April 2007


Postprint version. This paper was published in Optics Express, Volume 15, Issue 8, April 2007, pages 4994-5007 and is made available as an electronic reprint with the permission of OSA. The paper can be found at the following URL on the OSA website: Systematic or multiple reproduction or distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.


polarimetry, polarization-sensitive devices, photolithography

Additional Files

single_layer_pva.avi (2809 kB)
single layer pva

two_layers_pva.avi (3941 kB)
two layers pva



Date Posted: 20 June 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.