Polarization Optics

Polarizers are used to isolate the components of the light (electrical) wave. They can be tuned for a specific frequency (for a laser) or can work across a band of wavelengths. They are made of birefringent crystals, a material in which the ordinary and the extraordinary wave of a polarized beam have different speeds, thereby changing the polarization of the beam passing through it.  Agniroth OPTIK provides a wide range of polarizers, including high-damage threshold (>15J/cm2), optically contacted PBS cubes and high power waveplates (>20J/cm2) –

Retarding Wave Plates – Retarding plates (or waveplates) are made of materials that exhibit birefringence though which the ordinary and the extraordinary wave of a polarized beam have different speeds. This results in a change in the polarization of the emerging beam. There are Zero Order, Low Order and Multiple Order, Quarter and Half Wave Plates.

Polarizing Prisms – Constructed from birefringent crystals, they are used to separate unpolarized, randomly polarized and elliptically polarized light into their orthogonal components. These include the Glan-Taylor, Glan-Thompson, Glan-Laser and Wollaston prisms.

Polarizing Cubes – These cube beamsplitters split the S-polarized and the P-polarized orientations by reflecting the former at 90 degrees and transmitting the latter. AR is coated on the four input/output surfaces while the hypotenuse face of one right angle prism has a dielectric coating

Beam Deviation

< 3 arc min

Polarization contrast (Tp / Ts )

> 1000:1


Rs > 99.8%


Tp > 97%

Damage Threshold

> 15J/cm2 @ 1064nm, 20ns

Continuously Variable Attenuator – A combination of a cube beamsplitter and a rotating half waveplate allows for the continuous alteration and selection of desired of intensity ratio between the two polarized rays. The end result is that it allows for the laser beam to be divided in two perpendicular beams of adjustable intensity ratios.


Agniroth OPTIK 2009