Refractive index database

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Optical constants of C (Carbon, diamond, graphite, graphene, carbon nanotubes)
Arakawa et al. 1977: n,k 0.326–2.07 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


Arc-evaporated carbon film. Room temterature.


E. T. Arakawa, M. W. Williams, T. Inagaki. Optical properties of arc-evaporated carbon films between 0.6 and 3.8 eV, J. Appl. Phys., 48, 3176-3177 (1977)


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Carbon, C

Carbon (C) is a non-metallic element that serves as the building block for an astonishing range of materials with diverse properties, from soft graphite to hard diamond. In its diamond form, carbon exhibits remarkable hardness, high thermal conductivity, and a wide bandgap of around 5.47 eV, making it suitable for high-power electronics, cutting tools, and optical applications. Graphite, on the other hand, is a good conductor of electricity and is used in lubricants, batteries, and as a moderator in nuclear reactors. Carbon's most groundbreaking allotropes, graphene and carbon nanotubes, have introduced a host of possibilities in nanotechnology, optoelectronics, and materials science due to their exceptional electrical, mechanical, and thermal properties. Graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice, boasts unparalleled electrical conductivity and mechanical strength. Carbon can be synthesized and manipulated using a variety of methods, including chemical vapor deposition (CVD), arc-discharge, and laser ablation. The versatility and multifaceted nature of carbon make it a central element in both established and emerging technologies, spanning from traditional uses like steelmaking to cutting-edge applications in quantum computing and biotechnology.

Most common allotropes

  • Diamond (cubic carbon)
  • Graphite
  • Amorphous carbon
  • Graphene
  • Carbon nanotube

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