Dependence of the tracking performance of an optical disk on the direction of the incident-light polarization

Ronald E. Gerber, M. Mansuripur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


In optical-disk data-storage systems, the signal that provides tracking information is dependent on the groove shape, the optical constants of the materials involved, and the polarization state of the incident light. In this paper, we show that the tracking signal can be described by two measurable quantities, both of which are largely independent of aberrations in the optical system. Using these two quantities, we match the tracking performance of a given disk to an equivalent disk having rectangular grooves—the adjustable parameters being the rectangular groove depth and the duty cycle. By assumption, these rectangular grooves modulate only the phase of the incident beam and disregard its state of polarization. The effective groove depth and the duty cycle thus become dependent on the polarization state of the incident beam. We examine these dependences for various disks having different groove geometries and different combinations of materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8192-8200
Number of pages9
JournalApplied optics
Issue number35
StatePublished - Dec 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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