Based on liquid crystal polymers (LCP) a compact micro-optical polarizer with high efficiency has been designed and realized. By using cylindrical mierolens arrays made of LCP and index matching layer, a complete separation of both polarization components of the unpolarized input light is achieved. Combined with a patterned twisted nematic (TN) cell, allowing a rotation of only one polarization component, a polarizer with high efficiency (72,5% (measured)) is realized. Simulations and measurements are presented. © 2008 Optical Society of America.