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Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 575–582 | Cite as

A simple method for the determination of refractive indices of (rough) transparent solids

  • R. J. Nussbaumer
  • M. Halter
  • T. Tervoort
  • W. R. Caseri
  • P. Smith
Article

Abstract

Simple methods for the determination of refractive indices of transparent polymers and inorganic and organic solids of irregular geometry or with scratched or corrugated surfaces are rare. A classical procedure is based on the invisibility of a body immersed in a liquid with the same refractive index as that of the body. In order to avoid the laborious procedure connected with the search for a liquid with matching refractive index and to find an approach which is independent of the observation by eye, we describe here a modified immersion method which allows the ready determination of the refractive index of solids. The present method is based on the interpolation of the maximum transmission (nTmax) of a solid immersed in liquids with different, typically non-matching, refractive indices. Illustrations with quartz glass, crown glass and poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) films showed that nTmax can be determined with a reproducibility of ± 0.003. By comparison with refractive indices determined by ellipsometry, it was concluded that the refractive index of a solid can be determined with the modified immersion method within an accuracy better than ± 0.01 when systematic errors resulting from the fit method are also taken into consideration.

Keywords

Quartz Refractive Index Fluoride Systematic Error PVDF 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. J. Nussbaumer
    • 1
  • M. Halter
    • 1
  • T. Tervoort
    • 1
  • W. R. Caseri
    • 1
  • P. Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MaterialsEidgenössische Technische Hochschule ZürichZürichSwitzerland

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