Refractive index database

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Optical constants of CRYSTALS
Silicon (Si)

Wavelength: µm

Complex refractive index (n+ik)[ i ]

n   k   LogX   LogY   eV

Derived optical constants


20 °C; Crysal orientation: <111>


G. Vuye et al.. Temperature dependence of the dielectric function of silicon using in situ spectroscopic ellipsometry, Thin Solid Films 233, 166-170 (1993)


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Silicon, Si

Silicon (Si) is a crystalline, brittle element with a bluish-grey metallic luster. It stands as the second most abundant element in the Earth's crust, primarily in the form of silicates and oxides. In its pure form, silicon is employed extensively in the electronics industry for the fabrication of semiconductors, which form the basis of most modern electronic devices. The ability of silicon to act as a substrate for microelectronic devices stems from its semiconductor properties and the potential to precisely dope it with other elements to modify its electrical characteristics. Furthermore, silicon finds use in the photovoltaic industry in solar cells. When it comes to optics, silicon is transparent to infrared light, making it valuable for infrared lenses and other optical components. However, it's opaque to visible light. The material's versatility and abundance have made it integral to many industries, from construction to electronics and beyond

Other names for Polysilicon

  • Polycrystalline silicon, "poly"
  • semicrystalline silicon

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Crystals are highly ordered, periodic structures that offer a range of unique optical properties unattainable with amorphous materials like glass. Comprising atoms, ions, or molecules arranged in a repeating lattice structure, crystals can be engineered or selected to exhibit specific characteristics such as high refractive indices, low dispersion, and even nonlinear optical behavior. Commonly used optical crystals include quartz, sapphire, and various synthetic materials like potassium titanyl phosphate (KTP) and lithium niobate (LiNbO3). These materials are often used in applications that require high levels of precision and performance, such as in laser systems, optoelectronic devices, and frequency converters. Crystals can also demonstrate phenomena like birefringence, where the refractive index varies depending on the polarization and direction of light, making them invaluable in specialized optical components like waveplates and polarizers. Advanced crystal structures like photonic and plasmonic crystals can manipulate light at the nanoscale, offering avenues for research and application in areas like integrated optics and quantum computing. It's important to note that the optical properties of crystals, such as their refractive index and absorption coefficients, can be highly anisotropic and dependent on the crystal orientation. Therefore, specific data must be consulted for precise applications. Overall, crystals offer a broad palette of options for manipulating light, making them integral to both classical and cutting-edge optical technologies.

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