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Variable Wave Plates

Thorlabs' variable retarders provide continuous adjustment and control over the polarization state in a beam path. For liquid crystal variable retarders and Pockels cells, the retardance is tuned over a specified range by changing the drive voltage. The Soleil-Babinet compensator achieves variability by using a micrometer to change the position of a long birefringent wedge with respect to a fixed wedge. We also offer an Liquid Crystal Polarization Rotator that uses a liquid crystal variable retarder in combination with a quartz quarter-wave plate to provide continuous rotation of a linear input polarization.