Refractive index database

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Optical constants of HgS (Mercury sulfide)
Bond et al. 1967: α-HgS; n(o) 0.62–11 µm

Wavelength: µm

Complex refractive index (n+ik)[ i ]

n   k   LogX   LogY   eV

Derived optical constants

Dispersion formula [ i ]



Ordinary ray


1) W. L. Bond, G. D. Boyd and H. L. Carter Jr.. Refractive indices of HgS (Cinnabar) between 0.62 and 11 μ, J. Appl. Phys., 38, 4090-4091 (1967)
2) G. C. Bhar. Refractive index interpolation in phase-matching, Appl. Opt. 15, 305-307 (1976)
*Ref. 2 provides a dispersion formula based on data from Ref. 1


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Mercury sulfide, HgS

Mercury sulfide (HgS) is a compound that exists in both red (cinnabar) and black (metacinnabar) forms. The red cinnabar form has been historically significant as a pigment in art and decoration. In the realm of optics, HgS is of limited use due to its poor transparency and the toxicity of mercury. However, its semiconducting properties have attracted attention for potential applications in photodetectors and other optoelectronic devices. Caution should be exercised when handling this material due to the inherent risks associated with mercury.

Other names

  • Mercuric sulfide
  • Mercury sulphide
  • Mercury(II) sulfide
  • Cinnabar, Vermilion


  • Cinnabar

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