Using its revolutionary new Molecular Fusion™ bonding process, SP Optics division can now provide zero-order waveplates at prices comparable to ordinary multiple order waveplate. Zero-order waveplates are far superior in temperature stability and wavelength tolerance, but have traditionally been 50 - 75% more expensive than multiple-order components. Using its new fabrication processes, the Optics division's zero-order parts cost far less than those of other manufacturers, and only 10 - 15% more than comparable multiple-order components, even less in some applications.
Because of their many performance advantages and new low cost, the Optics division is now offering only zero-order waveplates in all the standard wavelengths and sizes. There is no reason to design-in multiple-order waveplates ever again.
Multiple-order waveplates show rapid changes in retardation as the wavelength changes, as seen at left. For a small change ∆λ (or equivalent change in temperature), the multi-order waveplate shows a large transmission change ∆Tmulti. By contrast, the change in retardation of the zero-order plate is very slow, so the same ∆λ gives a much smaller change ∆Tzero.