Wave retarders transform the polarization of light using birefringence, and include both standard waveplates and polarization rotators. They are used in applications where optimization, control, or analysis of polarization is required: to rotate polarization, convert between linear and circular polarization, adjust ellipticity, or separate wavelengths. We offer a line of high-performance, high damage threshold quartz retarders that includes zero-order, multiple-order, and dual-wavelength waveplates, as well as 90° polarization rotators, the choice being governed largely by operating wavelength and temperature range.
Compact, economical, and robust enough to withstand high laser power, these crystalline plates offer an elegant solution for many optical designs. They are available in a wide range of sizes, wavelengths, and even custom configurations to fit your application.
Our waveplates are designed for high laser damage threshold using only laser quality crystal quartz and are antireflection coated for the most demanding applications in the UV through near infrared wavelength regions. Each quartz plate has been cut and polished with precision to achieve low transmitted wavefront error, high surface quality (i.e., low scratch and dig) and excellent parallelism, resulting in high performance and precise retardation control over the full aperture. We offer waveplates designed for single wavelength, dualband, and broadband use, in both mounted and unmounted formats. Our polarization rotators are manufactured to equally high standards for maximum laser damage threshold and performance, and can rotate light with an accuracy that is within ± 0.5°.
In addition to the wide range of wavelengths, sizes, and mounting options available off the shelf, we can also provide semi-custom and custom retarders to your exact specifications. Our custom capabilities include large-area waveplates with diameters greater than 50 mm and custom retardations, as well as low-order waveplates for applications where a large field of view or high stability with wavelength or temperature variation is required. Contact us today to find the ideal wave retarder for your application.
Application tip: A waveplate can be used in combination with a polarizing beamsplitter cube for optical isolation or as a continuously variable beamsplitter.