Waveplates

Waveplates and polarization rotators use birefringence to transform, control, or analyze the polarization state of light. Our catalog line of high energy quartz retarders include 90° polarization rotators, multiple-order and compound zero-order waveplates, as well as Nd:YAG dual wavelength options, all with highly accurate retardation. These come as standard and semi-custom for the most popular wavelengths from 193 – 1550 nm. Our semi-custom waveplates allow your choice of zero- or multiple-order, wavelength, diameter, retardation, and ring- or air- spaced mounting. Choosing the right wave retarder for a specific application can be challenging, so our technical support team is available to assist you in the decision. If your application requires more than a catalog solution, we are ready to meet your needs with customized offerings.

We can manufacture quartz waveplates with custom retardation for use at wavelengths from 193 to 2100 nm, and with special shapes in diameters up to 2 inches. This includes compound zero-order waveplates, multiple-order waveplates for single or dual wavelength operation, as well as low-order waveplates for applications where a large field of view or high stability with wavelength and temperature variation is required. Depending on the laser damage threshold, environmental and cost constraints, compound waveplates may be cemented, optically contacted, or air-spaced. Our catalog quartz polarization rotators can also be customized for your specific wavelength, rotation angle, or size. We perform true optical measurement of retardation tolerance in-house for all of our waveplates, demonstrating our commitment to exceptional polarization control.

We have extensive experience in manufacturing quartz retarders with very low transmitted wavefront error, tight parallelism and retardation control, and pristine 10 – 5 surface quality, coated with low-loss high energy antireflection coatings for maximum power handling. We can supply parts with fully custom tolerances, should they be tighter or looser, working with you to define the best set of specifications for your application. Relaxed specifications may also be appropriate for wave retarders for use at UV wavelengths or in larger sizes. Please call us to discuss your cost and performance requirements.

We have extensive experience in manufacturing quartz retarders with very low transmitted wavefront error, tight parallelism and retardation control, and pristine 10 – 5 surface quality, coated with low-loss high energy antireflection coatings for maximum power handling. We can supply parts with fully custom tolerances, should they be tighter or looser, working with you to define the best set of specifications for your application. Relaxed specifications may also be appropriate for wave retarders for use at UV wavelengths or in larger sizes. Please call us to discuss your cost and performance requirements.

In addition to quartz, we can also manufacture custom zero-order mica waveplates for low power applications at visible and near-infrared wavelengths.

Capabilities

Standard Custom Options
Types
  • λ/2 & λ/4 Multiple order waveplates
  • λ/2 & λ/4 Compound zero waveplates
  • Dual wavelength waveplates
  • 90° Polarization rotators
  • Custom retardations & wavelengths
  • Custom retardation angles
  • Low-order quartz waveplates
  • Mica true zero-order waveplates, bare or laminated
Materials Crystal quartz Mica
Dimensions Waveplates: 12.7 to 50.8 mm Rotators: 12.7 mm 5.0 to 50.8 mm
Wavelengths Waveplates: 193 - 1550 nm Polarization rotators: 532, 1064 nm Waveplates: 193 - 2020 nm Polarization rotators: 193 - 1550 nm
Coatings
  • Narrowband V-coat AR
  • Dual-wavelength AR (532/1064 nm)
  • Other wavelength AR (193 - 2100 nm)
  • Lower reflectivity AR
Construction
  • Ring mounted
  • Optically contacted
  • Air-spaced mounted
  • Custom ring mounted
Quality Laser quality See manufacturing tolerances below

Quartz Waveplate Manufacturing Capabilities**

Surface Tolerances Precision Laser Quality High Precision
Surface quality (scratch - dig) 20 - 10 10 - 5 5 - 2
Surface roughness (Å, RMS) 10 7 3 - 5
Transmitted Wavefront Error
(waves, P-V @ 633 nm)
λ/2 λ/10 λ/25
Parallelism
≤ 2 arc sec ≤ 0.5 arc sec
Retardance Tolerance
λ/50 @ 23°C λ/200 @ 23°C λ/500 @ 23°C
Dimensional Tolerances Commercial Precision High Precision
Diameter (mm) +0.000 / -0.250 +0.000 / -0.100 +0.000 / -0.015
Clear aperture (%) ≥ 85% ≥ 90% ≥ 95%

Quartz Rotator Manufacturing Capabilities**

Surface Tolerances Precision Laser Quality High Precision
Surface quality (scratch - dig) 40 - 20 10 - 5 5 - 2
Surface roughness (Å, RMS) 10 7 3 - 5
Transmitted Wavefront Error (waves, P-V @ 633 nm) λ/2 to λ/4 λ/6 to λ/10* λ/25
Parallelism ≤ 1 arc sec ≤ 0.5 arc sec
Rotation angle ± 0.5° at 23°C
Dimensional Tolerances Commercial Precision High Precision
Diameter (mm) +0.000 / -0.250 +0.000 / -0.100 +0.000 / -0.010
Clear aperture (%) ≥ 85% ≥ 90% ≥ 95%