Laser 2000

Liquid Crystal Variable Retarder

LVR, LRC and LVT Series

Liquid Crystal Variable Retarders are solid state, real-time, continuously tuneable waveplates. Nematic liquid crystals are birefringent materials whose effective birefringence can be changed by varying an applied voltage.

The long axis of the liquid crystal molecules defines the extraordinary (or slow) index. With no voltage present, the molecules lie parallel to the windows and maximum retardance is obtained.

When voltage is applied across the liquid crystal layer, the molecules tip toward the direction of the applied electric field. As voltage increases, the effective birefringence decreases, causing a reduction in retardance.

Liquid Crystal Variable Retarders
-Variable Retarder (LVR/LRC)
-UV Variable Retarder (LVR-UV)
-MWIR Variable Retarder (LVR-MWIR)
-OEM Variable Retarder (LVT)

A selection guide can be found in the Downloads section.

Our standard Liquid Crystal Variable Retarders (LVR) provide a minimum retardance range of ~30 nm to at least half-wave at the specified wavelength. With specific UV devices from 350-450nm and MWIR from 3.6 to 5.7 microns

With an attached compensator(LRC), retardance is guaranteed to range from zero to at least half-wave at the specified wavelength.

Custom retardance ranges (up to a few waves) and custom compensators are available. By removing the temperature control circuitry the LVT series is intended for space constrained or OEM applications.

Contact our Sales Department to discuss your requirements.

Retarder Material

Nematic liquid crystal

Substrate Material

Optical quality synthetic fused silica

Wavelength Range

450 – 1800 nm (specify)

Retardance Range

Without Compensator – ~30 nm to λ/2
With Compensator – 0 to λ/2
(Custom ranges are available)

Transmitted Wavefront Distortion (at 632.8 nm)

≤ λ/4

Surface Quality

40 – 20 scratch‐dig

Beam Deviation

≤ 2 arc min

Reflectance (per surface)

≤ 0.5% at normal incidence

Diameter Tolerance

± 0.005 in.

Temperature Range

0°C to 50°C

Liquid Crystal Selection Guide
Liquid Crystal Variable Retarders

Request a Demo

LVR, LRC and LVT Series

Ask the Expert

If you’re interested in the products shown here, or have questions about something you can’t find on our website, please get in touch through the form below.

Our knowledgeable sales team will be happy to help. We can normally source exactly what you need, or work with you to come up with custom solutions.

Alternatively, just call +44 (0) 1933 461 666 and ask to speak to the Photonics team.