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Angular tolerances and trapped internal reflections in wedged high refractive index Brewster's angle plates



It is well known that the angular alignment tolerance for Brewsters angle plates is not generally strict. It is often not appreciated that for high index plates however wedge tolerances are small. It is shown that in Brewster angle plates of high refractive index materials, small wedge angles in the fabricated plate can cause internal s-plane reflections to become trapped by total internal reflection. A wedge angle acceptable in terms of its p-plane loss can cause such trapped reflections. In laser systems the resulting multiply reflected beams can move sideways in the plate and eventually hit o-ring seals or other mounting arrangements, causing component damage and leaks in unexpected locations. Stray light problems of an unexpected nature can occur from this effect in both laser based and conventional optical devices.

Journal of Infrared Physics and Technology (1997) Vol.38(1) pp.31-34

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