Click to change the region

Retardation Plates

Waveplates are used to rotate the polarization.

Waveplates – also known as "retardation plates" – are optical elements that create a phase shift in the transmitted light with the help of birefringency crystalline quartz.

A phase shift of 90° is referred to as a λ/4 plate, quarter wave plate, or a circular polarizer; whereas a phase difference of 180° is referred to as a λ/2 or half wave plate.

All waveplates are normally equipped with an AR coating that is optimized for one wavelength l. Uncoated plates are also available upon request.

There are three main types of waveplates: multiple order, low order, and zero order. The fundamental difference between these plates is the stability of the retardation tolerance across the wavelength range λ. This tolerance is a function of spectral range, product type, and design thickness.

The thickness of the plates depends on the wavelength and the specified retardation. Typical thicknesses of retardation plates offered by LASER COMPONENTS include:

  • Multiple order: 0.4 mm - 0.6 mm
  • Low order: 0.1 mm - 0.25 mm
  • Zero order (optically contacted): 0.8 mm - 1.2 mm

You will find details on this in the datasheets.


Dual/Harmonic Waveplates
Dual/harmonic waveplates are designed so that a defined phase shift can be reached for two wavelengths. The retardation can be selected differently for each single wavelength. In this way, the wavelength λ = 1064 nm, for example, can go through a phase shift of λ while the second wavelength, λ = 532 nm, experiences a phase shift of λ/2. The retardation plates otherwise correspond to multiple order plates.

Quick Navigation

Samuel Thienel
For any questions, feel free to contact us personally.
Click here

News & Events

Laser Optics

LASER COMPONENTS UK - Your competent partner for optical and optoelectronic components in the United Kingdom.

Welcome to LASER COMPONENTS UK Ltd., your expert for photonics components. Each product in our wide range of detectors, laser diodes, laser modules, optics, fiber optics, and more is worth every Pound (£/GBP). Our customized solutions cover all conceivable areas of application: from sensor technology to medical technology. You can reach us here:

Goldlay House, 114 Parkway
Chelmsford Essex CM2 7PR
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 1245 491 499
Email: info(at)

Team of experts
You have questions or need our support?
Please call us.
Samuel Thienel
Technical Sales Engineer
Samuel Thienel
CM2 7PR Chelmsford Essex
Contact Form
You would like to send us something? You can reach us by phone and by e-mail.

Laser Components

Goldlay House, 114 Parkway
Chelmsford Essex CM2 7PR
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 1245 491 499

You will be redirected
to the Fiber Technology Website ...