Refractive index database

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Optical constants of Bi12SiO20 (Bismuth silicate, BSO)
Gospodinov et al. 1988: n 0.48–0.70 µm

Wavelength: µm

Complex refractive index (n+ik)[ i ]

n   k   LogX   LogY   eV

Derived optical constants

Dispersion formula [ i ]



Room temperature


M. Gospodinov et al.. Physical properties of cubic Bi12SiO20, Bulgarian J. Phys. 15, 140-143 (1988). Cited in Handbook of Optics, 3rd edition, Vol. 4. McGraw-Hill 2009


[Expressions for n]   [CSV - comma separated]   [TXT - tab separated]   [Full database record]


Bismuth silicon oxide, Bi12SiO20 (BSO)

Bi12SiO20, commonly known as bismuth silicon oxide (BSO), is a photorefractive material with remarkable electro-optic and acousto-optic properties. It is especially noted for its high photorefractive sensitivity and strong two-beam coupling, making it a valuable material for optical data storage, holography, and real-time image processing. The crystal structure of BSO contributes to its photorefractive effect, which allows for the modulation of refractive index in response to incident light. Its applications often include beam steering, optical phase conjugation, and adaptive optics. BSO can be grown using techniques like the Czochralski method, and its properties can be tailored by doping with various elements. The material is relatively robust, with a good resistance to optical damage and a high melting point, which makes it suitable for demanding optical applications. However, the toxicity of bismuth makes it important to handle this material with care during fabrication and utilization. Overall, BSO's unique photorefractive capabilities make it an intriguing material for academic research and practical applications in optoelectronics and photonics.

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