Polarizer apparatus for producing a generally polarized beam of light

  • US 6,208,463 B1
  • Filed: 05/14/1998
  • Issued: 03/27/2001
  • Est. Priority Date: 05/14/1998
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. A polarizer apparatus for efficiently producing a generally polarized light beam from a generally unpolarized source light beam within the visible spectrum having orthogonal first and second polarizations produced by a light source, the apparatus comprising:

  • a generally parallel arrangement of thin, elongated elements configured for disposition in the source light beam, the elements being sized and configured for the visible spectrum and for interacting with electromagnetic waves of the source light beam to generally (i) transmit light having a polarization oriented perpendicular to the elements and defining a transmitted beam of the first polarization, and (ii) specularly reflect light having a polarization oriented parallel with the elements and defining a reflected beam of the second polarization, wherein the extinction ratio is greater than 100, a light recapture means physically positioned in a different location from the light source and configured for disposition in the reflected beam for intercepting and redirecting the reflected beam so that the reflected beam is not directed back into the light source, the light recapture means being oriented to direct the reflected beam back into the arrangement of elements; and

    a polarization reorientation means configured for disposition in the reflected beam for changing the polarization orientation of substantially all the reflected beam so that both the reflected and transmitted beams have generally the same polarization, thereby substantially converting all the source light beam to a single polarization.

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