Low order waveplates
from 266 nm to IR | >20 J/cm2 at 1064 nm
Half-waveplates (L/2 or λ/2 waveplates) are used to rotate the linear polarization or electro-optic modulation.
Quarter-waveplates (L/4 or λ/4 waveplates) are usually used to convert circular polarization from linear polarization or vice-versa. This type of polarization change finds many applications in ellipsometry, optical pumping and optical isolation.
Why Low Order Waveplate is the cheapest option form all waveplates
Well, since it produces the required retardance fraction through an integer multiple of a retardance equal to m+1/2λ, where m is an integer value. For example, a 7.5λ waveplate would behave the same as half-waveplate. The integer values do not affect the performance of waveplates, it just means that polarization will undergo some number of wavelength shifts. However, because of the shifts throughout the whole plate, it becomes more sensitive to temperature and wavelength variation. Therefore, it is mostly used in applications where increased sensitivity is not that critical.
- Standard features
- Relatively cheap when compared to other types of waveplates
- Robust design
- High damage threshold
- Works the same as zero-order waveplates
- Thickness of the waveplate brings some disadvantages: because of it, the waveplate is more sensitive to temperature and wavelength changes
- Angle of incidence for low order waveplate is small
- Thicker plates introduce stronger chromatic dispersion effect. This limits the optical bandwidth in which plate has the right retardance values
- Standard wavelengths starting from 266, 355, 515, 532, 633, 1030, 1053, 1064 nm all the way to infrared. Custom wavelengths may also be available upon request
- Diameter ranging up to Ø30 mm + mounting
- Standard transmitted wavefront distortion (TWFD) of λ/8 @ 632.8 nm
- Parallelism <1 arcsec
- Anti-reflective coating values of R < 0.2%
- LIDT values up to 20 J/cm2 at 1064 nm, 10 Hz, 10 ns for pulsed laser regime