A transmission polarizer for producing elliptically polarized soft X-ray radiation from linearly polarized light is presented. The setup is intended for use at synchrotron and free-electron laser beamlines that do not directly offer circularly polarized light for, e.g., X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) measurements or holographic imaging. Here, we investigate the degree of ellipticity upon transmission of linearly polarized radiation through a cobalt thin film. The experiment was performed at a photon energy resonant to the Co L3-edge, i.e., 778 eV, and the polarization of the transmitted radiation was determined using a polarization analyzer that measures the directional dependence of photo electrons emitted from a gas target. Elliptically polarized radiation can be created at any absorption edge showing the XMCD effect by using the respective magnetic element.

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