Refractive index database

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Optical constants of (C16H14O3)n (Polycarbonate, PC)
Sultanova et al. 2009: n 0.437–1.05 µm

Wavelength: µm

Complex refractive index (n+ik)[ i ]

n   k   LogX   LogY   eV

Derived optical constants

Dispersion formula [ i ]


Conditions & Spec sheet

n_is_absolute: false
wavelength_is_vacuum: false
temperature: 20 °C


20 °C


N. Sultanova, S. Kasarova and I. Nikolov. Dispersion properties of optical polymers, Acta Physica Polonica A 116, 585-587 (2009)
(fit of the experimental data with the Sellmeier dispersion formula: Mikhail Polyanskiy)


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


Polycarbonate (PC), (C16H14O3)n

Polycarbonate (PC, (C16H14O3)n) is a high-performance thermoplastic polymer characterized by its remarkable transparency, high impact resistance, and stability over a wide temperature range. Derived from phosgene (COCl2) and bisphenol A (or other bisphenols), its backbone incorporates carbonate groups (-O-(C=O)-O-). This structure imparts PC with its unique blend of properties. Notably, polycarbonate sheets are optically clear (with light transmission similar to glass) and are used where transparency is essential, such as in eyewear lenses, optical discs, and automotive headlights. Additionally, its excellent mechanical properties make it suitable for bulletproof windows, safety helmets, and electronic housings. However, while PC exhibits good resistance to UV radiation, it can yellow over time with prolonged exposure. It's also prone to scratching, which is why many commercial PC products, like eyeglasses, often come with an applied anti-scratch coating. In terms of its refractive properties, the inherent clarity and ability to be molded into complex shapes make polycarbonate a sought-after material for optical applications.


  • Lexan
  • Makrolon
  • Makroclear

External links