Non-polarizing beamsplitter cubes are used for splitting beam 50/50. The hybrid metallic-dielectric materials of the coating mean that the cubes have minimal impact on polarization of the incident beam, a factor that is extremely important in some polarization-sensitive applications.
On the other hand, there are a few drawbacks to hybrid metallic-dielectric coatings. The metallic layer causes an absorption loss of about 10 % and LIDT levels are usually 10 times lower compared with only dielectric-coated non-polarizing plate beamsplitters (NPBS).
Such cubes are usually chosen for convenient handling and easy aligning of systems compared with NPBS. For example, three cubes in a line can make a 50 / 25 / 12.5 power-splitting system, which can help in R&D applications to save time on repeated experiments.
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