A Wollaston prism splits a broadband input beam into two separately accessible beams with highly pure orthogonal linear polarizations. The prisms are fabricated from select-grade calcite prisms pairs, cemented together, and assembled for convenient mounting.
- Separate broadband light into two high purity polarized beams
- Extinction ratio >100,000:1
- Low wavefront distortion
- Best select-grade calcite
- Convenient sized housing
- Output beams separated by 20 degrees
How Wollaston Polarizing Prisms Work
The Wollaston prisms are fabricated from select-grade calcite right angle prism pairs, cemented together to form a cubical optic. The optical axes of each prism are simultaneously perpendicular to one another and perpendicular to the propagating beam. This results in crystal axis orientation suddenly changing at the interface between the two prisms. The beam component that is S-polarized (relative to the prism hypotenuse) will experience a decrease in refractive index equal to the difference between ordinary and extraordinary refractive indices for Calcite. Light that is P-polarized will experience an equal but opposite change, or an increase of the index from the extraordinary index to the ordinary index. Thus, S- and P- polarized components of the incoming beam will diffract into opposite directions. The final output beams will exit the back port of the polarizer housing with a nominal separation angle of 20 degrees.
The housing has been designed to mount into our standard 25.4 mm optic holders, rotary stages, and precision positioning components by using the LT series holders. The Wollaston prism housing is 18 mm long with a 25.4 mm diameter, and we recommend both the LT10-10 and the LT10-NP1 to adapt to the 1.063 thread to mount into a standard rotation mount.