We report on the experimental characterisation of the temperature dependence of the optical rotatory power of crystalline right-handed α-quartz at 1030 nm wavelength. The temperature range covered in this study is between 77 K and 325 K. For the measurement we propagated light through a 13.11 mm thick quartz plate collinearly with the optic axis. The plate is anti-reflection coated and rotates the polarisation plane of 1030 nm light by 89.3 deg at room temperature, corresponding to a specific rotatory power of 6.8 deg/mm. When placed between parallel polarisers, the transmission through the system was 0.03% at room temperature and increased to 1% at 77 K, showing a measurable change in rotatory power. At 77 K, the angle of rotation imparted by the quartz plate is 85 deg, corresponding to a specific rotatory power of 6.5 deg/mm. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that the temperature dependence of optical activity of α-quartz is reported for cryogenic temperatures in the infrared. We expect that the measurement results provided in this paper will assist in the design and characterisation of optical systems operating under cryogenic conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials