Disclosed are super broadband circularly polarizing film materials and
novel methods of fabricating and using the same. The circularly polarizing
materials are made from polymerizable CLC film material having a
cholesteric order, in which a liquid crystal material, such as a nematic
liquid crystal material, is distributed in a non-linear fashion across the
thickness of the film in a plurality of liquid crystal-rich and liquid
crystal-depleted sites in the CLC polymer. The pitch of the helices of the
CLC molecules in the polyermized CLC material varies in a non-linear (e.g.
exponential) manner along the depth dimension (i.e. transverse to the
surface) thereof. The resulting circularly polarizing materials have
reflection and transmission characteristics over bands of operation
approaching 2000 nm. Depending on the final spiral structure of the
polymeriable CLC materials utilized, the CLC circularly polarizing
materials reflect either left-handed or right-handed circularly polarized
light. The CLC circularly polarizing materials of the present invention
can be used in a variety of applications.