[OPTICAL REVIEW Vol. 7, No. 3 (2000) 209-215]

Fabrication and Patterning of Submicrometer-Thick Optical Polarizing Films for 800 nm Using Stretched Silver Island Multilayers

Kazutaka BABA, Yoshinori SATO, Tsutomu YOSHITAKE and Mitsunobu MIYAGI

Department of Electrical and Communication Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, Aramaki-aza-Aoba 05, Aoba-ku, Sendai, 980-8579 Japan

(Received Febrary 8, 2000; Accepted March 3, 2000)

Stretched silver island multilayers have been investigated for patterned optical polarizers for the wavelength of 800 nm. Submicrometer-thick optical polarizing films are fabricated by stretching periodic multilayers consisting of silver island layers and Pyrex layers at the temperature of 660°C. As the optical anisotropy of the optical polarizing film is lost by heating at a temperature higher than the stretching temperature, the fine non-polarizing areas can be deliberately and easily formed on the optical polarizing film by laser irradiation with high power density. We have successfully formed various non-polarizing areas on the optical polarizing film with a 1 W-class carbon dioxide laser. The demonstrated fabricating techniques of deliberately patterned optical polarizing films should be useful for novel optical computing and sensing devices.

Key words : optical polarizer, optical anisotropy, nanocluster, metal island film, thin film, multilayer, laser writing