Laser Polarization

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Fresnel Rhomb Retarders Fresnel Rhomb Retarders
TECHSPEC® components are designed, specified, or manufactured by Edmund Optics. Learn More
  • Broadband Performance with <2% Retardance Variation
  • 12.7mm and 25.4mm Options Available
  • λ/4 and λ/2 Retardance Options
Achromatic Waveplates (Retarders) Achromatic Waveplates (Retarders)
  • Multiple Wavelength Ranges Available
  • Flat Response Over Each Broad Spectral Range
  • λ/4 and λ/2 Retardance
  • Mounted in Black Anodized Aluminum Housing
Brewster Windows Brewster Windows
TECHSPEC® components are designed, specified, or manufactured by Edmund Optics. Learn More
  • Reduce Loss of P-Polarized Light
  • Circular Profile When Oriented at 55.57°
  • Great for Use in Laser Cavities
Free-Space Optical Isolators Free-Space Optical Isolators New
  • Up to 67 dB Isolation for Ultimate Stability
  • Up to 92% Transmission for Maximum Power
  • 4.7mm Input Aperture
Glan-Type Polarizers Glan-Type Polarizers
  • High Extinction Ratios up to 200 000:1
  • High Laser Damage Thresholds up to 5 J/cm2 @ 1064nm
Thin Film Laser Line Polarizers Thin Film Laser Line Polarizers
TECHSPEC® components are designed, specified, or manufactured by Edmund Optics. Learn More
  • High Extinction Ratio of 10,000:1
  • 45° Angle of Incidence
  • Available for Nd:YAG Harmonics and HeNe Wavelengths
Infrared (IR) Wire Grid Polarizers Infrared (IR) Wire Grid Polarizers
  • Designed for Wavelengths Ranging from 2 - 30μm
  • Various Substrates Available
  • 360° Rotation Using Metric Polarizer Mounts
Lyot Depolarizers Lyot Depolarizers
  • Turn Polarized Light into Non-Polarized (Unpolarized) Light
  • Designed for Polychromatic Light
  • UV to IR Wavelength Range
Precision Zero Order Waveplates (Retarders) Precision Zero Order Waveplates (Retarders)
  • λ/4 and λ/2 Retardance
  • Excellent Angular Field of View
  • Birefringent Polymer Stack
  • High Damage Threshold of 500 W/cm2
Quartz Waveplates (Retarders) Quartz Waveplates (Retarders)
  • Zero Order and Multiple Order Waveplates
  • λ/4 and λ/2 Retardance
  • Mounted in Black Anodized Aluminum Frame
  • Zero Order Polymer Waveplates Also Available
Radial Polarization Converters Radial Polarization Converters
  • Converts Linear Polarization to Radial or Azimuthal
  • Converts Circular Polarization to an Optical Vortex (Donut-Shaped Beam)
  • High Damage Thresholds in the Nano- and Femtosecond Range
  • Higher-Order Versions Can Generate Higher Order Polarization Patterns and Optical Vortices
Rochon Polarizers Rochon Polarizers
  • Multiple Polarization Materials Available
  • Ordinary Rays Pass Through Undeviated
  • Extraordinary Rays Deviate
  • Wollaston Polarizers Also Available
Wollaston Polarizers Wollaston Polarizers
  • Multiple Polarization Materials Available
  • UV to IR Ranges Offered
  • Large Deviation of Ordinary and Extraordinary Rays
  • Rochon Polarizers Also Available
ISP Optics Infrared Brewster Windows ISP Optics Infrared Brewster Windows New
  • Transmit P-Polarized Light Without Reflection Losses
  • Ideal for Polarization Separation in the IR Spectrum
  • Germanium (Ge) or Zinc Selenide (ZnSe) Substrate Options

Laser Optics

Laser Polarization components are utilized for various polarization needs. Laser Polarizers are used to isolate specific polarizations of light or to convert unpolarized light to polarized light in a variety of laser applications. Laser Polarizers use a range of substrates, coatings, or a combination of the two to transmit a specific single polarization state. Laser Polarization components are used to modulate and control polarization in many applications including simple intensity control, chemical analysis, and optical isolation.

Edmund Optics offers a wide range of Laser Polarization components including Glan-Laser Polarizers, Glan-Thompson Polarizers, and Glan-Taylor Polarizers, and Waveplate Retarders. Specialized polarizers are also available, including Wollaston Polarizers and Fresnel Rhomb Retarders. Edmund Optics additionally offers several varieties of Depolarizers to convert polarized light into random light.



Why does the polarization of a laser matter?

Polarization refers to the direction with which the electric field of light waves oscillate, which is perpendicular to the direction of propagation. Light waves can be linearly, circularly, elliptically, or randomly polarized. For more information about polarization read Introduction to Polarization.

Laser sources may be polarized due to anisotropy (a material property that is different in different directions) in the laser gain material, directionally dependent polarization losses in the laser resonator, or the use of birefringent optical materials. Some laser sources are unpolarized (e.g. fiber lasers). The polarization state of a laser can also be used to reduce unwanted and potentially dangerous reflection from high-power sources as some materials reflect or absorb light in certain polarizations states over others.

Many laser applications including some interferometry, optical amplification and modulation, nonlinear frequency conversion, and incoherent and coherent polarization beam combining (polarization coupling), depend on the state of polarization in order to function.