II-VI Optical Systems is a leader in waveplate manufacturing, having provided waveplates to the optics industry for more than 15+ years Standard product offerings include ¼λ & ½λ waveplates. II-VI Optical Systems will also manufacture to customer non-standard specifications upon request.
λ/4 and λ/2 Waveplate: When linearly polarized light is input at 45° to the axis of a quarter waveplate, the output is circularly polarized; similarly, input circularly polarized light is transformed into linearly polarized light. One use of a quarter waveplate is in conjunction with a linear polarizer to create an optical isolator (a one-way valve for light). A half wave-plate rotates linearly polarized light to any desired orientation.
Multiple order waveplates are designed to give a retardance of several full waves, plus the desired fraction. This results in a single, physically robust component with the desired performance. However, even small changes in wavelength or temperature will result in significant changes in the desired fractional retardance.
Zero order waveplates are constructed of two multiple order waveplates (optically contacted, bonded or airspaced) with their axes crossed. Thus, the effect of the first plate is canceled by the second, except for the residual difference between them. Any temperature or wavelength induced changes in retardance are also nearly canceled out due to this construction. A zero order waveplate thus provides better thermal and spectral stability than a multiple order wave-plate, while offering similar mechanical strength characteristics.
Dual Wavelength waveplates are multiple order wave-plates which provide a specific retardance at two different wavelengths (e.g. quarter wave at 1064nm and half wave at 532nm). Dual wavelength wave-plates are offered at a variety of popular laser wavelengths and harmonic waveplates are used at 1064nm and various harmonics. These components are particularly useful when used in conjunction with other polarization sensitive components to separate coaxial laser beams of different wavelength.
*Custom wavelengths available outside the standard range upon request