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Glan-Thompson Polarizers

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Glan-Thompson Polarizers

Item #GTH5GTH10
Extinction Ratioa100,000:1
MaterialHigh Optical Grade Calcite
≤λ/4 Over Clear Aperture
Surface Qualityb20-10 Scratch-Dig
Wavelength Range350 nm to 2.3 µm
Aperture5 mm x 5 mm10 mm x 10 mm
C18 mm33 mm
D6 mm11 mm
  • For the transmitted beam. The extinction ratio (ER) is the ratio of the maximum transmission of a linear polarized signal when the polarizer’s axis is aligned with the signal to the minimum transmission when the polarizer is rotated by 90°.
  • For Input and Output Faces, Side Ports 80-50.

Unmounted Glan-Thompson Schematic


  • Wide Field of View: 40° Typical
  • High Extinction Ratio: 100,000:1
  • 350 nm to 2.3 μm Operation for Uncoated Prisms
  • AR-Coated Versions for 350 - 700 nm or 650 - 1050 nm Range
  • Highest Grade Optical Calcite
  • Cemented Prisms
  • Damage Threshold: 1 W/cm2

Thorlabs' unmounted Glan-Thompson calcite polarizers offer the widest field of view of the calcite polarizers while maintaining a high extinction ratio. These unmounted prisms are ideal for custom appications; versions mounted in a round aluminum housing are also available. The GTH5 polarizers have a 5 mm x 5 mm aperture, while the GTH10 polarizers have a 10 mm x 10 mm aperture.

Both uncoated and coated polarizers are available. The uncoated polarizers are designed for use in the 350 nm to 2.3 μm range, while coated versions are available for the 350 - 700 nm or 650 -1050 nm range. Please see the Graphs tab for coating reflectivity data.

Glan-Thompson polarizers consist of two cemented prisms made from the highest optical grade calcite. Unpolarized light enters the polarizer, then is split at the intersection of the two crystals allowing s-polarized (e-ray) light to continue and p-polarized light (o-ray) to be reflected as shown in the diagram above. Due to the large field of view, these polarizers can be used for highly converging or diverging beams.

Note: As with all Glan-Thompson polarizers, the maximum optical intensity is limited by the cemented prism interface. For high-power applications, Thorlabs offers Glan Laser polarizers, which can handle power densities up to 500 W/cm2 (CW).

Glan Thompson Field of View Drawing

The transmission graph below shows the typical transmission of the uncoated GTH10 series of calcite Glan-Thompson polarizers, including any internal losses. Calcite is a natural material, and thus transmission can vary significantly, particularly in the UV and IR. Consequently, the performance data shown below may vary from lot to lot and is not guaranteed.

Calcite AR Coating Reflectance
Click to Enlarge

An Excel file with Calcite AR coating data is also available.

Glan-Thompson Calcite Polarizer
Polarization-Dependent Refraction - Glan-Thompson Calcite Polarizer

Our calcite polarizers are all based on high-grade, birefringent, calcite crystals. Due to the birefringent structure of calcite, a differential delay is created between two orthogonally polarized waves traveling in the crystal. As shown in the image to the right, this birefringent structure creates a polarization-dependent refraction that effectively steers the polarization planes in two angles. While the ordinary plane will travel straight through the crystal, the extraordinary plane will exit the crystal at an angle proportional to the wavelength as well as the length of the crystal.

A calcite polarizer can be designed as either a polarization splitter/combiner or as a polarizer element that removes the angled, orthogonally polarized component of a beam. Our calcite polarizers are typically built out of two prisms, as shown in the drawing to the right. Since calcite is a soft crystal that is easily damaged, almost all of our calcite polarizers are offered in metal housings. With convenient threadings and adapters, these housings can easily be mounted into our opto-mechanical products.

Field of View
Calcite Polarizer Field of View (FOV)

Thorlabs' Calcite Polarizers
Glan-Laser PolarizersGlan-Taylor PolarizersWollaston Polarizer
Mounted Glan-Thompson Polarizers
Unmounted Glan-Thompson Polarizers
Double Glan-Taylor PolarizerBeam Displacers
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Posted Comments:
Poster: rodrigo.aviles
Posted Date: 2013-08-15 13:55:35.873
I am planning to use this prism with a 355 nm laser. this is a pulsed laser delivering up to 20 uJ energy per pulse. The average power that i will use is 500 mW and the pulses are 65 nsec the rep rate is 30Khz. Please let me know if this can stand this amount of power if not, can I use the GL5-A (glan laser polarizer) which one would be better for my application? Best regards R. Aviles
Poster: jlow
Posted Date: 2013-08-15 09:31:00.0
Response from Jeremy at Thorlabs: The beam diameter needs to be taken into account when considering whether this would work for you. For 355nm, we also have the alpha-BBO glan-laser polarizer (http://www.thorlabs.com/newgrouppage9.cfm?objectgroup_id=5093) which might be more suitable. I will contact you directly to discuss about your application further.
Poster: Thorlabs
Posted Date: 2010-11-08 16:36:42.0
Response from Javier at Thorlabs to lee.jones: The transmission of these polarizers is in the order of ~95%. However, since calcite is a natural material, transmission in the UV and NIR can vary. Click on the "Calcite" tab for more information.
Poster: lee.jones
Posted Date: 2010-11-08 10:09:25.0
Can you please tell me what the transmission of this optic is at 1064 nm ? Thanks, Lee.
Poster: Adam
Posted Date: 2010-04-12 14:17:59.0
A response from Adam at Thorlabs to tslim: The damage threshold of this polarizer is 1 Watt/cm^2. It is limited by the cement interface. We can do a custom GTH10M that uses a stainless steel spacer instead of a cement interface. I will contact you direct to guage your interest in this option. Please also note that we offer Glan Laser Calcite polarizers, GL10. If you like mounting capabilities similar to the GTH10M, the GL10 can be mounted in a SM1PM10, which allows for easy adaptation to our 1" diameter high precision rotation stages, PRM1, or our standard 1" diameter rotation stage, RSP1.
Poster: tslim
Posted Date: 2010-04-09 05:51:55.0
I have a GTH10M. I wonder what is the damage threshold of this polarizer. Could you please give me the data.
Poster: technicalmarketing
Posted Date: 2008-03-04 08:21:58.0
In response to kbuffingtons post, we have added a "Mounting Option" tab that shows how to mount the GTH10M into the PRM1. It contains links to all the appropriate product pages. Thanks for your suggestion!
Poster: kbuffington
Posted Date: 2008-01-15 13:56:06.0
Include information on how to mount the GTH10M and similar mounted polarizers into a rotation mount such as PRM1. All that is needed is a lens tube of proper length. This information will be useful to many customers. Maybe also add a link to the lens tube page.
Poster: technicalmarketing
Posted Date: 2007-11-28 11:23:26.0
Dear Chihshangliu, The typical beam deviation for a Glan-Thompson polarizer is 3 arcmin, however stock polarizers can have beam deviations as great as 5 arcmin. For applications that require product specifications not listed in the presentation please consult a member of our technical support department. They can work with you to determine if we can provide a product suitable for your application.
Poster: chihshangliu
Posted Date: 2007-11-20 01:39:06.0
Hello, Id like to ask the "transmission beam deviation" of Glan-Thompson polarizer (GTH10). Because I bought several polarizers (GTH10), when I rotated(not tilted) them, I found about 1.4 mm diameter rotation at distance of 450 mm. To evalute the beam deviation is larger than 5 arcminutes. Thus, I want to know the beam deviation. Thanks Chih-Shang Liu, Associate Engineer Center for Measurement Standards/Industrial Technology Research Institute R300, CMS/ITRI Rm.302, Bldg.12, 321, Sec.2, Kuang Fu Rd. Hsinchu, Taiwan 300, R.O.C. TEL: 886-3-5743271 FAX: 886-3-5712307
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Unmounted Glan-Thompson Polarizers, Uncoated
Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal/Imperial Price Available / Ships
GTH5 Support Documentation
GTH5 Glan-Thompson Calcite Polarizer, 5 mm x 5 mm Clear Aperture, Uncoated
GTH10 Support Documentation
GTH10 Glan-Thompson Calcite Polarizer, 10 mm x 10 mm Clear Aperture, Uncoated
Unmounted Glan-Thompson Polarizers, 350 - 700 nm AR Coated
Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal/Imperial Price Available / Ships
GTH5-A Support Documentation
GTH5-A Glan-Thompson Calcite Polarizer, 5 mm x 5 mm Clear Aperture, ARC: 350 - 700 nm
GTH10-A Support Documentation
GTH10-A Glan-Thompson Calcite Polarizer, 10 mm x 10 mm Clear Aperture, ARC: 350 - 700 nm
Unmounted Glan-Thompson Polarizers, 650 - 1050 nm AR Coating
Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal/Imperial Price Available / Ships
GTH5-B Support Documentation
GTH5-B Glan-Thompson Calcite Polarizer, 5 mm x 5 mm Clear Aperture, ARC: 650 -1050 nm
GTH10-B Support Documentation
GTH10-B Glan-Thompson Calcite Polarizer, 10 mm x 10 mm Clear Aperture, ARC: 650 -1050 nm
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