Photonics Dictionary


An optical diffuser is an optical component or material designed to scatter or diffuse light that passes through it. It is used to create a more even or uniform illumination, reduce glare, or soften the appearance of harsh, direct light. Optical diffusers work by disrupting the direction and intensity of incident light, causing it to spread in various directions.

There are different types of optical diffusers, and they can be made from various materials, including glass, plastics, and holographic films. Some common types of optical diffusers include:

Ground glass diffusers: These diffusers are made from glass with a roughened or frosted surface. They scatter light by breaking up the incident light's path, creating a soft and even illumination.

Frosted or holographic films: Thin plastic films or sheets with micro-structures or holographic patterns that scatter light, resulting in a diffused appearance.

Prismatic diffusers: These have a series of prisms or microstructures that redirect incident light in different directions. They are often used to reduce glare and improve the distribution of light in lighting fixtures.

Opal diffusers: Opal diffusers are made from opalescent materials that scatter light uniformly, providing a soft and diffused glow. They are commonly used in light fixtures to create a pleasing, evenly distributed light.

Optical diffusers find applications in various fields, including photography and videography to create soft lighting, in architectural lighting to reduce harsh shadows and glare, and in display technologies to enhance visibility and readability of screens. They are valuable tools for achieving desired lighting effects and improving the quality of optical systems.

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