Applications of FTIR Infrared Polarizers

Polarizers play an important role in advanced spectroscopy techniques where they are used to either attenuate polarized radiation, polarize unpolarized radiation or to behave as a polarizing beamsplitter.

Specac produces holographic wire polarizers in a class 1000 clean room using a novel holographic production technique, which was developed alongside the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) of the United Kingdom.

The polarizers are fixed onto a transmitting substrate and are suitable for use in the wavelength range of 5000 – 285 cm-1. They are produced by exposing a photo-resist on the substrate to monochromatic UV radiation with an interfometric fringe pattern.

The resulting photo-resist has a highly regular sinusoidal form, which is coated with metal at a slanted angle to provide a structure of fine, parallel lines equidistant from one another.

The novel technique used creates grid wire spacing, of sub-micron fineness, at a density of 4000 lines per mm, which results in less light scattering than conventional ruled wire grid polarizers. As the technique chosen means the grid is created directly on the substrate, it can be used to create polarizers on substrates, which cannot be worked with when using the ruling method.

These polarizers can be used for a wide variety of research including IR sample characterization and plasma diagnostics. In addition, they play important roles in thermal imaging systems, astronomical imaging (in the IR) and optical manipulation (laser polarization, beam splitting and beam attenuation).

Specac can provide a large range of polarizers on different substrates such as Zinc Selenide (ZnSe), Calcium Fluoride (CaF2), Barium Fluoride (BaF2), Germanium (Ge) and KRS-5. Polarizers can be provided to specification to meet the needs of each researcher, for the GS12000 Series, the polarizer can be easily connected to the aperture port of any of Specac’s ‘Benchmark Baseplate’ systems.

Features of GS1200 Series Polarizers

  • Choice of KRS-5, Ge, BaF2 and ZnSe substrate
  • 4000 lines/mm on substrate
  • Compatible with Specac FTIR Accessories
  • 34.9 O.D., 25 mm C.A. spring ring mounted only
  • Fit into polarizer rotatable mount GS12500


  • Infrared spectroscopy of materials (typically plastics/ polymers and crystallography)
  • Plasma diagnostics
  • Infrared microscopy (sample characterization)
  • NIR/Mid-IR thermal imaging systems
  • Beamsplitters in polarized light interferometry
  • Analysis in infrared astronomy
  • Coupling devices for Mid-IR and long wavelength lasers
  • Low power laser polarization and beam attenuation

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Specac.

For more information on this source, please visit Specac.


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