Refractive index database

nk database   |   n2 database   |   about




Optical constants of B4C (Boron carbide)
Larruquert et al. 2012: n,k 0.001738–21.54 µm

Wavelength: µm

Complex refractive index (n+ik)[ i ]

n   k   LogX   LogY   eV

Derived optical constants

Conditions & Spec sheet

n_is_absolute: true
wavelength_is_vacuum: true


Density: 2.28 g/cm3. Film deposited at room temperature.


J. I. Larruquert, A. P. Pérez-Marín, S. García-Cortés, L. Rodríguez-de Marcos, J. A. Aznárez, J. A. Méndez. Self-consistent optical constants of sputter-deposited B4C thin films, J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 29, 117-123 (2012) (Numerical data kindly provided by Juan Larruquert)


[CSV - comma separated]   [TXT - tab separated]   [Full database record]


Boron carbide, B4C

B4C, or boron carbide, is a highly hard and lightweight ceramic material known for its diverse range of applications, from abrasives to armor plates. It has a rhombohedral crystal structure and exhibits a high melting point, making it thermally stable. In the realm of optics, boron carbide is most commonly employed as a thin-film coating material, particularly for components that require hardness, thermal stability, and resistance to wear. The material's high refractive index and low absorption in the infrared region also make it suitable for protective optics in high-energy laser systems. In addition to its mechanical strength, boron carbide has the added advantage of neutron absorption capabilities, making it useful for radiation shielding applications. However, it should be noted that the material is brittle, and this can be a limiting factor for certain applications that require mechanical flexibility. Overall, B4C is a highly specialized material that offers a unique combination of hardness, thermal stability, and optical properties, making it valuable for both scientific research and industrial applications.

Other names

  • Tetrabor
  • Tetraboron carbide

External links