In this paper, we analyze the theoretical limits of a metamaterial-based converter with orthogonal linear eigenpolarizations that allow linear-to-elliptical polarization transformation with any desired ellipticity and ellipse orientation. We employ the transmission line approach providing a needed level of the design generalization. Our analysis reveals that the maximal conversion efficiency for transmission through a single metamaterial layer is 50 %, while the realistic reflection configuration can give the conversion efficiency up to 90 %. We show that a double layer transmission converter and a single layer with a ground plane can have 100 % polarization conversion efficiency. We tested our conclusions numerically reaching the designated limits of efficiency using a simple metamaterial design. Our general analysis provides useful guidelines for the metamaterial polarization converter design for virtually any frequency range of the electromagnetic waves.
Applied Physics B, 2013, Vol 112, Issue 2, p. 143-152