Vortex Patterned Retarder

What is a Vortex Patterned Retarder?

A Vortex Patterned Retarder (VPR) is a retarder component with a uniform retardancy, but a fast axis that rotates continuously around its center and can create polarization vortices. We provide high vortex performance at an affordable cost.

How it Works

Through our proprietary design methodologies, we can customize VPRs to achieve precise retardation at select wavelengths or select bands, with nearly any number of charges at a low cost of fabrication.

Traditional Vortex Retarder

  • 5-6mm Thick
  • 4-6g Weight
  • Multiple Aberrations
  • Primary Focus Only

ImagineOptix VPR

  • < 0.5mm Thick
  • < 1g Weight
  • Aberration Free
  • Any Lens Type or Profile

Technical Details


  • True Zero-Order Vortex Retarder Plates
  • Retardation Bands: fully customizable between 400-4000nm
  • Topological Charges Available: 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 16, 32
    • Other custom charges possible
  • Broadband Illumination: Yes (similar ranges as our achromatic MTRs)
  • AOI: Up to +/-20˚
  • Center wavelength options: Fully customizable from 400-4000nm
  • Patterned/louvered domains: nearly any pattern, with resolution down to <5 µm
  • Size: up to 300 x 300mm sq; round or arbitrary cut samples are custom


  • Due to their simple fabrication and many degrees of design freedom, VPRs are ideal for:
  • Patterned Retardation (louvers or other patterns)
  • Multiple Charges
  • Precision Retardation
  • Smallest Central Defect
  • Additional Information

    Vortex retarders generate nondiffracting, or Bessel, beams, which have been demonstrated to enlarge the trapping region and the kinematics of optical tweezers and for transport and guiding of microspheres.

    • Other Applications
    • Sub-wavelength Resolution Nano-optics
    • Control of Bose-Einstein Condensates
    • Quantum Informatics

    Several topological charges (1, 2, 4, 8)

    Smallest central defects per charge reported as of 2015

    Conventional LC layers (no MTR)


    • Optical Tweezers
    • Sub-wavelength Resolution Nano-optics
    • Control of Bose-Einstein Condensates
    • Quantum Informatics

Let’s make something impossible come to vision