Polarization Optics

Product Portfolio
We offer a wide variety of IR polarizers as well as half and quarter waveplates made from silicon and other materials for infrared (IR) wavelengths.

Three series of anti-reflective (AR) coated IR polarizers made from Silicon are available with diameters of 25.4 to 50.8 mm and a clear aperture of 15.4 to 38.1 mm. Depending on the coating material, these polarizers can be used for infrared light with wavelengths ranging from 1.5 to 5 µm3 to 5 µm or 8 to 12 µm.

IR waveplates are disk-shaped optical components that delay IR light (spectral lines from 2.9 to 9.0 µm) polarized to one axis compared to light polarized perpendicular to it. The series of quarter (or λ/4) IR waveplates delay this light by a quarter wavelength, while the series of half (or λ/2) IR waveplates leads to a delay by half a wavelength, both with a retardance tolerance of λ/100.

Related Products
Our polarization optics can be used with our broad portfolio of lasers and light sources ranging from broadband, ASE and supercontinuum light sources to DPSS lasers, diode lasersfiber lasers and gas lasers to OPOs, tunable lasers and other laser and light sources, all the way to laser diodes, modules and systems.

AMS Technologies provides also an extensive range of precision optics such as optical scanners and deflectors, optical modulators, q-switches and pockels cells, optical beamsplitters, optical prisms, optical mirrors, optical filtersoptical lenses or etalons.

Further complementary products are optical mounts, rotary and translation stagesoptical tables, breadboards and platforms as well as a variety of optical test and measurement equipment.

Definition
Polarization optics are optical components that either convert incident radiation into polarized light or change the polarization and phase of incident light.

A polarizer is a component that filters light with a certain polarization from light that is not polarized, partially polarized or differently polarized. Polarizers are absorbing incident radiation so that only radiation with one polarization direction leaves its output. This can be achieved with different physical effects.

Besides generating polarized light, polarizers can also serve as filters. For example, a combination of two rotatably mounted polarizers in a row can be used as a "variable attenuator" of unpolarized light. Polarizing filters are also used in photography to filter out a certain polarization component, for example to attenuate unwanted reflections on water or glass panes.

Waveplates are thin disks of optically anisotropic material that can change the polarization and phase of passing electromagnetic waves (usually light). Waveplates exploit the effect that birefringent, suitably oriented material shows different propagation speeds c/n (or different refractive indices n) in different directions for differently polarized light.

Frequently used materials are optically uniaxial, i.e. there are two mutually perpendicular main refractive axes in the crystal (“fast axis” and “slow axis”) along which the refractive indices differ. For waveplates, the crystals are cut in a way that their crystal-optical axis is in the plane of the polished entrance surface.

A λ/4 or quarter waveplate delays light polarized parallel to a component-specific axis by a quarter wavelength – or π/2 –compared to light polarized perpendicular to it. When correctly irradiated, a quarter waveplate can turn linearly polarized light into circularly or elliptically polarized light, and circularly polarized light and elliptically polarized light into linearly polarized light.

If a quarter waveplate is hit by linearly polarized light beam whose polarization direction is rotated by 45° to the crystal-optical axis, circularly polarized light is produced. If the angle differs from 45°, elliptically polarized light is usually produced. The reason for this is that the light beam is split into two perpendicularly polarized parts which are shifted by a quarter phase and are superimposed again at the exit of the quarter waveplate.

This results in a Lissajous figure (circle or ellipse) for the resulting field vector of the outgoing light beam, which causes a complete rotation of the plane of polarization by 360° during each oscillation cycle. A quarter waveplate is therefore also called a circular polarizer. Conversely, a quarter waveplate also converts circularly polarized light into linearly polarized light.

If the polarization direction of the incident light is parallel to one of the axes, linearly polarized but phase-shifted light is obtained after the waveplate. Two quarter waveplates connected in series produce a λ/2 or half waveplate when their optical axes are aligned in parallel.

Alternative Terms: Polarizer; IR Polarizer; Waveplate; IR Waveplate; Half Waveplate; Half IR Waveplate; Quarter Waveplate; Quarter IR Waveplate

Product Portfolio We offer a wide variety of IR polarizers as well as half and quarter waveplates made from silicon and other materials for infrared (IR) wavelengths. Three series of ... read more »
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Polarization Optics

Product Portfolio
We offer a wide variety of IR polarizers as well as half and quarter waveplates made from silicon and other materials for infrared (IR) wavelengths.

Three series of anti-reflective (AR) coated IR polarizers made from Silicon are available with diameters of 25.4 to 50.8 mm and a clear aperture of 15.4 to 38.1 mm. Depending on the coating material, these polarizers can be used for infrared light with wavelengths ranging from 1.5 to 5 µm3 to 5 µm or 8 to 12 µm.

IR waveplates are disk-shaped optical components that delay IR light (spectral lines from 2.9 to 9.0 µm) polarized to one axis compared to light polarized perpendicular to it. The series of quarter (or λ/4) IR waveplates delay this light by a quarter wavelength, while the series of half (or λ/2) IR waveplates leads to a delay by half a wavelength, both with a retardance tolerance of λ/100.

Related Products
Our polarization optics can be used with our broad portfolio of lasers and light sources ranging from broadband, ASE and supercontinuum light sources to DPSS lasers, diode lasersfiber lasers and gas lasers to OPOs, tunable lasers and other laser and light sources, all the way to laser diodes, modules and systems.

AMS Technologies provides also an extensive range of precision optics such as optical scanners and deflectors, optical modulators, q-switches and pockels cells, optical beamsplitters, optical prisms, optical mirrors, optical filtersoptical lenses or etalons.

Further complementary products are optical mounts, rotary and translation stagesoptical tables, breadboards and platforms as well as a variety of optical test and measurement equipment.

Definition
Polarization optics are optical components that either convert incident radiation into polarized light or change the polarization and phase of incident light.

A polarizer is a component that filters light with a certain polarization from light that is not polarized, partially polarized or differently polarized. Polarizers are absorbing incident radiation so that only radiation with one polarization direction leaves its output. This can be achieved with different physical effects.

Besides generating polarized light, polarizers can also serve as filters. For example, a combination of two rotatably mounted polarizers in a row can be used as a "variable attenuator" of unpolarized light. Polarizing filters are also used in photography to filter out a certain polarization component, for example to attenuate unwanted reflections on water or glass panes.

Waveplates are thin disks of optically anisotropic material that can change the polarization and phase of passing electromagnetic waves (usually light). Waveplates exploit the effect that birefringent, suitably oriented material shows different propagation speeds c/n (or different refractive indices n) in different directions for differently polarized light.

Frequently used materials are optically uniaxial, i.e. there are two mutually perpendicular main refractive axes in the crystal (“fast axis” and “slow axis”) along which the refractive indices differ. For waveplates, the crystals are cut in a way that their crystal-optical axis is in the plane of the polished entrance surface.

A λ/4 or quarter waveplate delays light polarized parallel to a component-specific axis by a quarter wavelength – or π/2 –compared to light polarized perpendicular to it. When correctly irradiated, a quarter waveplate can turn linearly polarized light into circularly or elliptically polarized light, and circularly polarized light and elliptically polarized light into linearly polarized light.

If a quarter waveplate is hit by linearly polarized light beam whose polarization direction is rotated by 45° to the crystal-optical axis, circularly polarized light is produced. If the angle differs from 45°, elliptically polarized light is usually produced. The reason for this is that the light beam is split into two perpendicularly polarized parts which are shifted by a quarter phase and are superimposed again at the exit of the quarter waveplate.

This results in a Lissajous figure (circle or ellipse) for the resulting field vector of the outgoing light beam, which causes a complete rotation of the plane of polarization by 360° during each oscillation cycle. A quarter waveplate is therefore also called a circular polarizer. Conversely, a quarter waveplate also converts circularly polarized light into linearly polarized light.

If the polarization direction of the incident light is parallel to one of the axes, linearly polarized but phase-shifted light is obtained after the waveplate. Two quarter waveplates connected in series produce a λ/2 or half waveplate when their optical axes are aligned in parallel.

Alternative Terms: Polarizer; IR Polarizer; Waveplate; IR Waveplate; Half Waveplate; Half IR Waveplate; Quarter Waveplate; Quarter IR Waveplate

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