Pure yttrium vanadate crystals (YVO4) have optical properties ideal for polarizers in the mid-IR spectrum. YVO4 is highly transmissive from 400 to 3800 nm and is optically useful to 5 micrometers . YVO4 is a positive uniaxial crystal with a birefringence larger than the negative uniaxial crystal calcite. The positive birefringence of YVO4 gives ordinary polarization to the beam transmitted by the polarizer, producing a desirable symmetric field-of- view for all standard designs. Glan, Wollaston, and Rochon polarizers were fabricated from YVO4 and tested. The preferred Glan design for YVO4 is Glan-Taylor as for calcite. YVO4 has advantages in large aperture size, excellent optical quality, high laser-damage threshold, and excellent optical working ability with only a slight tendency to cleave. New monolithic crystal polarizer designs will be described. It is also believed that YVO4 would be an excellent synthetic substitute for calcite in the visible spectrum.© (2002) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.