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We systematically study and optimize the design of multilayer birefringent reflective polarizers for recycling the backlight of liquid crystal displays. Factors affecting the Bragg reflection are analyzed in detail, including number of layers for establishing Bragg reflection, refractive index difference, effective refractive index, and thickness ratio. Different methods for achieving broadband reflection are investigated, so that the reflective polarizer could cover the entire visible wavelengths and a large incident angle. In addition, the effects of material dispersion on the device design are analyzed.