From Electro-Optics Handbook, Second Edition

W. J. Tropf, T. J. Harris, and M. E. Thomas


This chapter presents intrinsic properties of optical materials useful in the visible and infrared spectral regions. Materials discussed include insulators, semiconductors, and metals. Crystalline, polycrystalline, and amorphous (glassy) materials are considered. Only materials with a reasonably complete and consistent set of property data are included. Applications for these materials include bulk optics (windows, lenses, prisms, beamsplitters, etc.), optical fibers, mirrors, and thin film coatings (spectral and neutral density filters, protective and antireflective coatings).

Both commonly used and relatively new optical materials are included. Emphasis is on data, formulas, and references. Physical, thermal, mechanical, and optical properties are given. Optical properties are summarized as parameters for index of refraction and absorption coefficient formulas that allow calculation of these quantities over broad spectral regions. Room-temperature properties are emphasized. The data are complemented with a short section on the origin of properties (especially optical) that includes a descriptive explanation of the underlying physics.

Previous compilations of optical property data are given in Refs. 1 to 12. Extensive references are also provided.

Products & Services
Optical Coating Services
Optical coating services design optical coatings and apply them to crystal, fiber, glass, metal, or polymer substrates to produce optical components. 
Optical Manufacturing Services
Optical manufacturing services design, fabricate, finish and test optical components and optical elements.
Optical Prisms
Optical prisms are blocks of optical material with flat, polished sides that are arranged at precisely controlled angles to one another. They are used in optical systems to deflect or redirect beams of light. They can invert or rotate images, disperse light into component wavelengths, and separate states of polarization.
Nonpolarizing Cube Beamsplitters
Nonpolarizing cube beamsplitters provide a true 50/50 split regardless of the incoming polarization. They consist of a pair of precision right-angle prisms carefully cemented or mounted together to minimize wavefront distortion.
Optical Flats
Optical flats or test plates are polished surfaces that are used as references against the flatness of unknown surfaces for comparison. They use the property of interference to measure the flatness of a test surface.

Topics of Interest

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