Site Search:  

Low Order Quartz Retardation Plates

Diagram showing mounted quartz retardation plateThese retardation plates use high optical damage threshold crystal quartz. They are orientated with the optic axis in the plane of the plate and light polarized at 45° to the quartz optic axis is resolved into two equal amplitude components that suffer a relative phase retardation due to their different propagating velocities.

Most low order plates lie in a thickness range of 100-200μm (At 1.06μm a first order λ/2 plate is approximately 182 μm thick). Low order plates are generally used because they are relatively temperature insensitive compared to high multiple order plates. They are also less sensitive to axial misalignment.

Retardation plates can be supplied mounted or unmounted with or without A.R. coatings.



Crystal Quartz

Surface Quality

20 - 10

Diameter Tolerance

+ 0.00mm - 0.1mm

Retardation Tolerance


Damage Threshold

> 1 GW/cm2nanosecond
pulse length at 1064 nm

Max cw Power


Transmission Uncoated


Spectral Range

220 - 2800 nm

Standard Sizes


Clear Aperture

Mount Dia.

QWP 10



QWP 20



QWP 25



QWP 30



Low order Half and Quarter wave plates having the above dimensions are held in stock and can be supplied coated or uncoated. They are generally available from stock for most common laser wavelengths. All waveplates can be supplied mounted or unmounted. Other dimensions can also be supplied.


Dual Wavelength Plates

For a given plate thickness a low order waveplate will operate as a quaterwave, halfwave and full wave plate at different wavelengths. By selecting the thickness it is possible to achieve a dual order plate giving for example, halfwave retardation at 1064 nm and fullwave retardation at 532 nm. Because of the wide range of possibilities these plates are not held in stock, but Leysop can manufacture plates to customer requirements.


Quartz Optical Rotators

When plane polarized light propagates along the optic axis of quartz, it is rotated clockwise or anticlockwise depending on whether it is right or left hand quartz. The rotation is dependent on the wavelength and the distance traveled, as shown below.

Diagram showing rotation angle versus thickness for quartz rotation plate


Specific Rotary Power

Quartz rotators can be supplied to give 90° rotation or any angle between 0-90°. They are ordered as standard components with the same aperture and mount dimensions as those shown for retardation plates but by using the suffix, QOR.