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MORE MATERIALSMATERIALS DICTIONARY TERMS
dielectricExhibiting the characteristic of materials that are electrical insulators or in which an electric field can be sustained with a minimum dispersion of power. They exhibit nonlinear properties, such as anisotropy of conductivity or polarization, or...
advanced photon sourceAn accelerator at the Argonne National Laboratory, providing powerful x-ray beams for materials research applications.
translucentPertaining to materials having the property of reflecting a part and transmitting a part of the incident radiation.
beta radiationThe high-speed electrons and positrons emitted by radioactive materials.
slurryThe name of the mixture of liquid and grinding or polishing compounds used in processing optical materials.
didymium glassGlass tinted with mixed oxides of neodymium and praseodymium that, unlike most solid materials, have absorption bands that...
nanotechnologyThe use of atoms, molecules and molecular-scale structures to enhance existing technology and develop new materials and...
depletion regionThe region at the PN junction in a semiconductor radiation detector where the potential energies of the two materials create...
computer polarization holographyA technique used to store wavefront information on thin polarization information-recordable materials by controlling the...
high-density storageExtensive data storage in the form of bits, with the use of high-resolution photographic materials and optics, and generally...
light sectioningTechnique for measuring the volume bulk of materials as they move along a conveyor with an accuracy of better than 1...
refractive index contrastA measure of the relative difference in refractive index between two optical materials. Most commonly used in fiber optics...
conduction weldingA type of laser welding of thin materials using a defocused or low-power carbon dioxide laser beam. The energy is absorbed...
etching liquidAn acid used to etch the surfaces of particular materials. For glass, hydrofluoric acid is used either as a liquid or a...
idiochromaticPertaining to the possession of photoelectric characteristics as a result of the properties of the true crystal and not of...
slab-dielectric waveguideA waveguide with a rectangular cross section that is composed entirely of dielectric materials.
cordA threadlike inclusion within a blank of optical glass. Rarely found in quality optical materials.
substrate blankMaterials (usually ceramics or other semiconductors) that are molded into approximate forms to use as supports for large...
nondestructive testing (NDT)Any testing method for materials and components that does not damage or destroy the test sample. Some of the methods used...
ferromagnetismThe properties of certain materials that cause them to have relative permeabilities that exceed unity. This permeability...
polariscopeA combination of a polarizer and an analyzer that is used to detect birefringence or rotation of the plane of polarization...
dark boxA lightproof box used for storing photosensitive materials.
three-five (III-V)Referring to compound semiconductor materials combining one element that has three valence electrons with one or more that...
computer-generated holographic scanner (CGHS)A phase reflection scanner that eliminates the need for a complex translation device while maintaining a high-energy-density...
infrared optical materialThe range of materials that, unlike glass, may be used in the infrared. Water-soluble salts, such as cesium iodide, and...
color aging testA test used to measure the degree of fading of different colored materials, especially those involving organic dyes, which...
planform bondingA manufacturing process used to construct substrates for large optical components. Used with IR materials, planform bonding...
infrared reflectorAn optical component coated to reflect infrared radiation. Gold, silver and aluminum are typical coating materials.
coated opticsOptical elements that have been coated with one or more layers of dielectric, or metallic material. These coatings serve to...
hyperspectral imagingMethods for identifying and mapping materials through spectroscopic remote sensing. Also called imaging spectroscopy;...
intrinsic detectorA photodetector composed of a photoconductive material that, when exposed to radiation, conducts without the aid of added...
ferroelectricThat property of particular materials that determines that they will be polarized in one direction or the other, or reversed...
stress birefringenceBirefringence of materials that is induced or altered by stress fields.
Mohs hardnessMaterial hardness scale that is used to characterize the scratch resistance of various materials. This surface hardness...
epitaxyA well controlled thin films technique for growing films with good crystal structure in ultra high vacuum environments at...
microphotonicsThe technology of manipulating light on a micro scale. In optical communications, this is usually accomplished using two or...
axial gradient technologyA method of designing lasers whereby the laser rod is cut into elliptical discs and cooled by running water over the disc...
polarizing coatingA coating made up of particular birefringent materials having polarizing properties. It may be used, in some cases, to...
annealingThe process of heating and slowly cooling a solid material, like glass or metal, to stabilize its thermal, electrical or...
grenz raysThe soft x-rays used in the industrial radiography of materials having too small a range of densities to produce an image...
triboluminescenceLuminescence that arises from friction and that usually occurs in crystalline materials.
Faraday rotationThe effect discovered by Faraday in 1845 whereby nonoptically active materials or substances become capable of rotating the...
guided waveA wave in which energy is focused near a boundary separating materials having different properties. Propagation of the wave...
Verdet constantA factor of an equation of the Faraday effect, which is the rotation of the plane of light polarization by transparent...
darkroomA room that is light-tight, permitting total darkness or illumination with a safelight when working with photosensitive...
spectrosensitometerA sensitometer having a continuously controlled monochromator to measure spectral sensitivity and contrast of photographic...
adiabatic laser colorimetryMethod for studying absorption coefficients of low-loss materials, in which a sample is allowed to come to thermal...
laser lithotripterA laser device intended for crushing urinary tract stones so they can be flushed from the body. Light is introduced via...
biophotonicsThe technology that deals with the interaction of organic materials with light and other forms of radiant energy whose...
diode-pumped solid-state laserA compact solid-state laser, referred to as DPSSL, created when a laser diode pumps light into either the sides or end of...
radiation trappingThat process by which radiation spontaneously emitted by a volume of optical materials is resonantly reabsorbed within the...
linear plasticA term for thermoplastic optical materials; that is, those in which the polymer chains remain linear after heating and...
drawing towerA system for fabricating optical fiber, consisting of a furnace that heats the materials, a polymer coating stage, a...
Murty interferometerA form of shearing interferometer that contains a simple wedged (plane-parallel) glass plate with a nonzero optical path...
amphoteric materialsSubstances that exhibit the characteristics of both acids and bases and are capable of both P- and N-type conductivity.
corrected lensA compound lens, the dimensions and materials of which have been so chosen that the lens is appreciably free of aberrations.
quantum dotsAlso known as QDs. Nanocrystals of semiconductor materials that fluoresce when excited by external light sources, primarily...
pitch polishing compoundPitch for polishing mixed with other materials to give it the right viscosity so that it will follow the fine-ground lens...
metamaterialA material engineered from artificial matter not found in nature. The artificial makeup and design of metamaterials give...
plastic opticsThe integration of plastic materials into optical applications. When the materials are refined into lenses, prisms and...
electrophotographyThe photographic recording of an image formed by the alteration in electrical properties of the sensitive materials and...
hybrid optical integrated circuitDevice in which the various circuit elements are fabricated in different substrate materials and then appropriately joined...
negative-refraction metamaterialAn artificial material, engineered to have a negative refractive index value, such that light or any other form of...
cleanroomAn area in which airborne particulates can be monitored and controlled so that given size particles do not exceed a...
photomagnetic effectThe direct influence of light on the magnetic susceptibility of particular materials.
low-loss fiberOptical fiber that transmits a greater percentage of input light than does high-loss step-index fiber. Low-loss fiber...
pulse video thermography (PVT)A noncontact, nondestructive method of measuring defects in thin composite materials, using a xenon flashtube to generate...
photoconductivityThe conductivity increase exhibited by some nonmetallic materials, resulting from the free carriers generated when photon...
solar simulationThe simulation of solar radiation in the infrared and ultraviolet spectrum for the analysis of extraterrestrial sunlight and...
mirror coatingOne or more thin-film layers of optical material deposited on a mirror blank/substrate in order to enhance the way that...
electron-beam recording (EBR)The recording of the information contained in a modulated electron beam onto photographic or silicon resin-coated materials....
two-six (II-VI)Referring to compound semiconductor materials combining one element with two valence electrons and one or more with six....
adhesiveAn intermolecular substance that serves to hold materials together. Two types are used in the optical industry: one, which...
sol-gelA gelatinous fluid that can be used as a porous thin-film coating for optical components, including laser beam collimators,...
photoelasticityThe process of determining, with the aid of plane-polarized light, the stress distribution in materials under complex...
optical materialsMaterials that, by virtue of their optical characteristics (i.e. refractive index, dispersion, etc.), are used in optical...
sclerometerAn instrument used to test the hardness of various materials. It measures the pressure on a standard point that is necessary...
radiographyA photographic process using x-ray radiation or the g-rays of radioactive materials.
electron-beam evaporationA method of thin-film deposition in which electrons boiled off a heated cathode are used to melt the coating material. If a...
Grittington testA method of determining the abrasion resistance of very hard materials by passing a weighted wiper blade across them in a...
Microheterogeneous SystemsExtremely small organic and inorganic systems of molecules within a substance. In general, systems are colloidal size in...
semiconductor laserA semiconductor material which is designed and grown for the efficient production of short wavelength stimulated emission...
beta fluorographyThe use of a short-duration electron beam to record high-speed events that occur in microscopic objects made of materials...
microphotofabricationThe formation of microimages for microreduction. The technique is used, for example, in the production of precision reticles...
evaporation coatingCoating carried out in a sealed chamber evacuated by a mechanical pump in series with an oil diffusion pump to a pressure...
sensitometryPrimarily the measurement of photographic sensitivity of certain materials such as photographic film. It refers to the...
Fresnel reflectionThe reflection of a portion of light resulting when light is incident upon the surface between materials that have different...
acetoneOptic surface cleaning liquid that may be applied to glass, crystal, dielectric and metal surfaces; however, may not be...
optical ceramicsTransparent glassy and or crystalline structured materials engineered from inorganic, non-metallic materials via various...
beam-addressable technologyThe application of reversible writing with a laser beam on particular storage materials. In one method, an amorphous film is...
resistance heaterA crucible made of electrically resistive material through which a current is passed to heat the material inside, which then...
isochromatic lines1. Lines of the same color. 2. A term used in photoelastic stress analysis to refer to the interference fringes produced in...
terahertz radiationElectromagnetic radiation with frequencies between 300 GHz and 10 THz, and existing between regions of the electromagnetic...
metallographic polishing machineA small optical polishing machine intended for polishing the surface of a metal specimen before etching for examination...
optical emission spectroscopy (OES)In dry etching, a method of characterizing the composition of solid materials such as metal. Atoms in the OES technique are...
petrographic microscopeA microscope equipped with a polarizer, an analyzer and a Bertrand lens to focus on the upper focal plane of the objective....
dichroism1. In reference to anisotropic materials, the selective absorption of light rays that vibrate in one particular plane...
polymerizationProcess of synthesizing long molecular chain materials (polymers) by reaction of many small molecules (usually thousands)...
radioactivity detectorAn instrument used to detect radioactive materials: alpha particles or helium nuclei; beta particles or free electrons; and...
nanostructured glassA unique glass made up of nano-structured materials to create millimeter sized monolithic glass space-variant polarization...
polarimeterA polariscope with a half-shade device and an angular scale generally attached to the analyzer. It is used to measure the...
band-to-band photoluminescenceThe emission of a photon by the return of an excited carrier from the conduction band to the valence band of a semiconductor...
mechanical spliceA fiber splice accomplished by fixtures or materials, rather than by thermal fusion. Index matching material may be applied...
Czochralski techniquePopular process for silicon and polycrystalline production that consists of an alteration of the original state of a...
material scatteringThe total scattering attributable to the intrinsic properties of the materials through which an optical wave is propagating.
safelightFiltered light to which photographic or other photosensitive materials are not responsive; used to illuminate darkrooms when...
glass melting furnaceA furnace used to heat glass materials. It may be a small laboratory-type furnace for small-scale experiments or large...
infrared spectrophotometerA spectrophotometer having a prism or, more frequently, a grating for the study and recording of infrared spectra. It...
hermetic bondingThe total fusion and sealing of materials, or usually an enclosure, to ensure that they are airtight.
incoherent bundleA bundle of filaments of optical glass or other transparent materials that transmit only light, not optical images. The...
chromatic aberrationThe lens aberration resulting from the normal increase in refractive index of all common materials toward the blue end of...
PN junctionThe transition boundary between P-type and N-type materials in a semiconductor.
transparent electrophotographic (TEP) filmsImaging materials that generally consist of a polyester base, a transparent electrically conductive layer and an organic...
enhanced Faraday effectThe occurrence of very large rotations in transparent materials at weak magnetic fields as predicted in the classical...
flash photographic density filterA filter, partially opaque to near-ultraviolet, visible and infrared radiation, that may be made by exposing and processing...
tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopyA spectroscopic technique that combines the high chemical specificity of Raman scattering and signal sensitivity provided by...
phase conjugationThe use of a reflective device, which can be fashioned from a variety of materials including gases, solids, dyes, aerosols,...

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