Based on different photonic band structures of TE and TM polarization modes in periodic multilayers, a method to realize the waveguide polarizer is proposed. The waveguide structure contains a SiO2 core layer sandwiched between two multilayers of alternately stacked poly-Si and SiO2, and the whole structure can be grown on a Si substrate. Its propagation characteristics are studied theoretically. High extinction ratio over 40 dB at a light wavelength of 1.3 μm is expected in the waveguide of only 40 μm long, accompanied with very low propagation loss of the passive TE mode. These characteristics are very suitable for the applications in integrated optics. The fabrication of this polarizer structure by using the magnetron sputtering method is demonstrated. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.