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Crystalline Quartz Waveplates

Three crystalline quartz waveplates with black casing
Diagram depicting achromatic broadband waveplates in gray and blue colors with purple and red details
Diagram depicting achromatic broadband waveplates froma side view in blue color with purple and red details
Diagram depicting crystalline quartz waveplates from side view in blue color with red details

Crystalline Quartz Waveplates


Crystalline Quartz

Surface quality, S-D


Transmitted wavefront distortion, P-V

<λ/10 @ 632.8 nm

Retardation tolerance @ 20 °C


AR coatings

Ravg<0.2% on
each surface

Clear aperture

Ø5 – 76.2 mm


>10 J/cm² @ 1064 nm, 10 ns, 10 Hz*


Black, white
anodized metal mount

*higher values possible

**depending on wavelength

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Crystalline Quartz Waveplates

Waveplates are made from materials that exhibit birefringence. The velocities of extraordinary and ordinary rays through birefringent material varies inversely with their refractive indices. This difference in velocities gives rise to a phase difference when the two beams recombine. At any specific wavelength, the phase difference is governed by the thickness of the retarder (waveplate).

Half (λ/2) waveplate. A linearly polarized beam incident on a half-wave crystal quartz waveplate emerges as a linearly polarized beam, but is rotated such that its angle to the optical axis is twice that of the incident beam. Half-waveplates can therefore be used as continuously adjustable polarization rotators. Such waveplates are used to rotate the plane of polarization, as well as for electro-optic modulation and as a variable ratio beamsplitter when used in conjunction with a polarization cube.

Quarter (λ/4) waveplate – a thin-film compensator. If the angle between the electric field vector of the linearly polarized incident beam and the retarder principal plane of the quarter-waveplate is 45°, the emergent beam is circularly polarized. When a quarter-waveplate is double-passed, such as by mirror reflection, it acts as a half-waveplate and rotates the plane of polarization to a certain angle. Quarter-waveplates are used to create circular from linear polarization or vice versa, as well as for ellipsometry, optical pumping, suppressing unwanted reflection, and optical isolation.

Zero-order waveplates are generally preferred because they are least sensitive to variations in wavelength, angle of incidence, and temperature.

Standard waveplates are based on air-spaced construction that allows their use for high-power applications. The damage threshold is more than 20 J/cm² for 10 ns pulses @ 1064 nm.

Our waveplates are made from excellent-quality laser-grade crystalline quartz material.


Feel free to reach out to us for more information or any inquiries you may have at: [email protected]. We’re here to assist you!



Typical Items for ZO Crystalline Quartz Waveplates (air-spaced)

(Ø12.7 x 6 mm)

Wavelength, nm

λ/2 retardation, clear aperture >8 mm

Product ID

λ/4 retardation, clear aperture >8 mm

Product ID
343 2-CPW-ZO-L2-0343-S 2-CPW-ZO-L4-0343-S
355 2-CPW-ZO-L2-0355-S 2-CPW-ZO-L4-0355-S
400 2-CPW-ZO-L2-0400-S 2-CPW-ZO-L4-0400-S
515 2-CPW-ZO-L2-0515-S 2-CPW-ZO-L4-0515-S
532 2-CPW-ZO-L2-0532-S 2-CPW-ZO-L4-0532-S
800 2-CPW-ZO-L2-0800-S 2-CPW-ZO-L4-0800-S
1030 2-CPW-ZO-L2-1030-S 2-CPW-ZO-L4-1030-S
1064 2-CPW-ZO-L2-1064-S 2-CPW-ZO-L4-1064-S
(Ø25.4 x 6 mm)

Wavelength, nm

λ/2 retardation, clear aperture >18 mm

Product ID

λ/4 retardation, clear aperture >18 mm

Product ID
266 2-CPW-ZO-L2-0266 2-CPW-ZO-L4-0266
343 2-CPW-ZO-L2-0343 2-CPW-ZO-L4-0343
355 2-CPW-ZO-L2-0355 2-CPW-ZO-L4-0355
400 2-CPW-ZO-L2-0400 2-CPW-ZO-L4-0400
515 2-CPW-ZO-L2-0515 2-CPW-ZO-L4-0515
532 2-CPW-ZO-L2-0532 2-CPW-ZO-L4-0532
633 2-CPW-ZO-L2-0633 2-CPW-ZO-L4-0633
780 2-CPW-ZO-L2-0780 2-CPW-ZO-L4-0780
800 2-CPW-ZO-L2-0800 2-CPW-ZO-L4-0800
852 2-CPW-ZO-L2-0852 2-CPW-ZO-L4-0852
1030 2-CPW-ZO-L2-1030 2-CPW-ZO-L4-1030
1064 2-CPW-ZO-L2-1064 2-CPW-ZO-L4-1064
1550 2-CPW-ZO-L2-1550 2-CPW-ZO-L4-1550


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