Birefringence of interferential mirrors at normal incidence
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In this paper we present a review of the existing data on interferential mirror birefringence. We also report new measurements of two sets of mirrors that confirm that mirror phase retardation per reflection decreases when mirror reflectivity increases. We finally developed a computational code to calculate the expected phase retardation per reflection as a function of the total number of layers constituting the mirror. Different cases have been studied and we have compared computational results with the trend of the experimental data. Our study indicates that the origin of the mirror intrinsic birefringence can be ascribed to the reflecting layers close to the substrate.