G&H achromatic waveplate

Achromatic Waveplates

Achromatic waveplates function in mid-IR
applications, e.g. controlling the polarization
state of light throughout the spectrum available
from CO2 lasers.

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From crystal growth, crystal orientation and cutting, to waveplate fabrication and coating, no other waveplate supplier has as much control over the fabrication stages as G&H.

Our waveplates been used in the cutting edge of research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s NIF project to the most demanding of production environments in semiconductor metrology equipment.

For all wavelength ranges, we orient, cut, and polish the optical crystals for waveplate production. Tight internal controls enable better retardation tolerances within and between production runs.
Polishing, coating, assembly, and metrology complete the manufacturing process.

Compound zero-order (also known as net-zero order) and achromatic waveplates are often optically contacted to reduce reflection losses at the surfaces. Air-spacing is recommended for high energy applications. Specialty waveplate designs such as off-axis or true-zero order waveplates are produced to custom specifications.

Waveplates from the UV to the NIR

From crystal orientation to assembled product, we produce cutting-edge waveplates for a varied range of applications and customers.

  • Crystal quartz – standard material for UV-NIR waveplate applications
  • LiNbO3 – infrequently used in 1.5 µm applications and optical frequency shifters
  • MgF2 – typically used in combination with crystal quartz for achromatic waveplates
  • Mica – for ophthalmology applications
  • Sapphire – for defense applications in extreme environmental conditions
  • YVO4 – waveplates for the 400 nm to 5 µm ranges

Waveplates for the IR, higher energies, or larger formats

As the world's only entirely vertically integrated CdS, CdSe, and KDP waveplate producer, we deliver accurate performance for demanding applications.

Our control over crystal growth benefits customers who need larger sizes, high laser damage threshold performance, or more accurate retardation tolerances.

Read more about achromatic waveplates for applications in the infrared between 3-12 μm here.


Aerospace, astronomy, biomedical, laser power control and attenuation, military, optical isolation, polarimetry, remote sensing, semiconductor metrology, spectroscopy, surveillance.

Visible  and NIR SpecificationsUV, VIS, NIR
Multiple Order, Net-Zero, Dual
High Energy
Substrate materialCrystal quartzCrystal quartz and MgF2KDP or KD*P
Sizes5 mm to 150 mm5 mm to 50 mm5 mm to 430 mm
High surface qualityScratch-dig 10-540-20 typical10-5 < 20 mm
20-10 < 430 mm
Retardation toleranceλ/500 at 23°C at 633 nm λ/72 at 23°C
Operating conditions10 J/cm2, 20 ns pulse, 20 Hz 10 J/cm2,10 ns pulse at 1064 nm
Transmitted wavefrontλ/10 at 633 nmλ/10 at 633 nmλ/6 at 633 nm
Infrared Specifications*IR multiple ordersingle wavelength (3 µm- 12 µm)IR Net zero orderNarrow range (3 µm- 12 µm)Achromatic  3-5 µm, 5-8 µm, or 8-12 µm
Substrate materialCdS or CdSeCdS/CdS or CdSe/CdSeCdS/CdSe
Sizes4 mm to 29 mm4 mm to 29 mm4 mm to 29 mm
Retardation/tolerance± 5° at design wavelength± 5° at design wavelength± 10°
Transmission>97% at design wavelength>90% at center wavelength>90% at center wavelength

*custom wavelength ranges available

G&H has received IS09001 certification across all of its manufacturing facilities. AS9100C certification has been achieved at select facilities.