Optical coating is a very complex subject, however, you need to be able to understand the basics of it if you are working in a relevant industry. In this article, we will discuss the basic things that you need to know about optical coating. Without further ado, let’s start:

What is optical coating?

Optical coating is generally employed to cover optical equipment, like camera lens, and other objects such as mirrors. Optical coatings modify the interaction of light wavelengths within the coated object. Due to the fact that optical devices rely on light to be transmitted or reflected first, the addition of an optical coating allows the optical device to operate correctly and accomplish the amount of light reflection or transmission that is required. 

Difference between silvering and anti-reflection

  1. Silvering

Silvering is the term for the procedure that enhances the reflectivity of optical device. This is done with materials that are very reflective, such as silver and aluminum. This is commonly done with mirrors and other objects that require great reflective properties.

  1. Anti-reflection

On the other hand, optical devices that are needed to have the least amount of reflectivity requires anti-reflection or anti glare optical coatings.

Important terms regarding optical coating

There are many important phrases that you will come across if you are involved with optical coating. Below are some of them:

  1. Refractive Index

The refractive index is the measurement of the ability of a material to decelerate the passing of light wavelengths. It is also known as the index of refraction. The index of refraction of a material is identified through comparing the speed of light in a vacuum against the speed of light as it travels through the material.

  1. Dielectric

A dielectric component is an insulator, which means that it is resistant to electric currents. However, they can carry electrostatic fields. This makes dielectric materials a somewhat flexible material, used primarily in camera lens.

  1. Reflective

Materials that are reflective do not allow the passage of light wavelengths. They however bounce it back, with a mirror being a prime example of reflective material.  The usual optical coating for reflective material is aluminum and silver.

  1. Antireflective

Antireflective has the reverse effect of reflective materials. As opposed to bouncing lightwaves back, they instead reduce the reflection. This can enhance the contrast in some devices. Antireflective materials are commonly used on television and mobile phone screens.

  1. Visible Spectrum

Visible spectrum alludes to the array of wavelengths that can be seen. This is noticeable when lightwaves are spread out through the use of a prism.

  1. Custom coating

Custom coating is the process of producing optical coating that is specialized to the requests of a client. This is mainly for people or businesses that have specific needs for optical coating that is not normally available. One company accepting custom made optical coating is Evaporated Coatings Inc. If you are interested in ECI custom optical coatings services, please visit their website here.