Polarimeters with External Head


PAX Series Polarimeters

  • High Dynamic Range of 70dB
  • Rotating Wave Plate Technology
  • Four Wavelength Ranges


  • Two Types of Systems Available
    • Fiber-Coupled
      • Internal Sensor Head
      • Fiber-Based Measurement at a Fixed Wavelength Range
    • Free-Space
      • Interchangeable External Sensor Head
      • Free-Space and Fiber-Based Measurements Possible
      • Easy Integration into Optical Setups
  • Four Wavelength Ranges
    • 400 - 700 nm
    • 700 - 1000 nm
    • 1000 - 1350 nm
    • 1300 - 1700 nm
  • External Exchangeable Measurement Heads
  • High Dynamic Range of 70 dB
  • Rotating Wave Plate Based
  • Sampling Rate up to 333 Samples/s
  • Excellent Accuracy
  • Preconfigured Laptop PC and Fiber Collimator Included


  • Free Space and In-Fiber Polarimetry
  • Degree of Polarization (DOP) Measurements
  • Extinction Ratio (ER) Measurements
  • Component for a PDL / PMD Measurement System

Thorlabs' Fiber-Coupled and Free-Space Polarimeters are terminating, wave-plate-based modules for free-space and fiber-based measurements of the state of polarization (SOP). Their high dynamic range of 70 dB, broad wavelength range, and accuracy of ±0.2° on the Poincaré sphere opens a wide spectrum of application possibilities. These polarimeters are available with internal or external sensor heads and are fully compatible with Thorlabs' TXP5000 platform. Each PAX module ships with a preconfigured notebook for out-of-the-box plug & play operation.

All four Stokes values, which fully characterize a SOP, are provided either as analog output voltages or as digital values to the PC. An external trigger function allows synchronization of the PAX5700 Polarimeter with other devices. The PAX5710 offers an external sensor head, which can be used for free-space beams as well as for fiber-coupled measurements. A removable collimation package for a fiber connector input comes with each sensor head. The PAX5720 has an integrated non-removable collimation package for fiber-coupled measurements only.

Based on the Thorlabs TXP5000 Modular Test & Measurement System, the PAX Polarimeters offer additional features like USB and Ethernet ports, 'plug and play' combination with other modules, easy-to-use graphical user interfaces, and flexible configurations via LabVIEW™ and LabWindows/CVI™, which allows the user to write his or her own application.

Each measurement sensor is calibrated at different wavelength points. These base points are interpolated.


Fiber-Coupled Polarimeters

* Four Wavelength Ranges Available
* Internal Sensor Head
* Complete Bench Top Device Including Preconfigured Laptop PC

Thorlabs' Fiber-Coupled Polarimeters are designed for use solely with fiber optics. The mainframe has a permanent FC/PC fiber collimation package where a light source can be coupled in, typically using a single mode fiber optic patch cable. The four systems we offer are each designed for one of four wavelength ranges: 400 - 700 nm, 700 - 1000 nm, 1000 - 1350 nm, or 1300 - 1700 nm.


Free-Space Polarimeters

* Four Wavelength Ranges Available
* External Sensor Head
* Complete Benchtop Device Including Preconfigured Laptop PC

Thorlabs' Free-Space Polarimeters consist of three main parts: the mainframe, the readout card, and the measurement head. Each measurement head needs to be connected to a readout card. The readout card can be used for all four wavelength ranges, so only the sensor head needs to be changed. If a different wavelength range is desired, simply purchase the corresponding external sensor head (sold below) and connect it to the current readout card. If two or more external sensor heads are to be used simultaneously, an equal number of readout cards is required. The mainframe can hold up to four readout cards.


External Sensor Heads

* Free-Space Measurement Head
* Interchangeable
* Four Wavelength Ranges Available

These External Measurement Heads for the Free-Space Polarimeters above can be exchanged to switch to a different wavelength range without the need to purchase a complete new system. These external heads allow free-space and fiber-based measurements with easy integration in optical setups.


Our Mission is to accelerate the advancement of optical technology for precision measurements and their applications from the table tops of research laboratories to standard use in communication and high technology industries. Our aim is to serve our customers. Our hope is to create a place for highly skilled people in an open environment

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