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Custom Right Angle Prisms

Schott and BK7 Right Angle Prisms

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Bespoke Ordering Available

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Find out more about our custom right angle prisms

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Knight Optical offers custom right angle prisms for customers requiring a component that differs from our stock range.

We are able to help with any volume order and have often been involved in projects from prototype through to bulk orders, working closely with our customers on finalising the details of the optical component to ensure they fit seamlessly into their applications.

Right angle prisms are generally used to change the direction of light by 90° or 180° dependent on which surface the incident beam is directed at. This is due to the light undergoing total internal reflection (TIR) within the prism before exiting.

Below are our typical manufacturing capabilities, we offer right angle prisms in Schott and equivalent glass types such as BK7, as well as more specialist materials including UV or IR fused silica and crystalline materials such as calcium fluoride and zinc selenide, more information on these can be found on our infrared page.

Coatings can also be applied to either the small faces or the hypotenuse dependent on the end application. Our current stock precision right angle prisms have different coating options which can be applied to your custom order:

  • Antireflective (AR) coating: Antireflective coating on both short faces to achieve optimal performance. The coatings can be broadband to encompass a large wavelength range.
  • Protected mirror coating: mirror coating and optical black paint on the hypotenuse to achieve high internal reflection over a greater angular range.
  • External reflector range: protected mirror coating on hypotenuse for use as a right angle prism mirror.
Schott and BK7 Right Angle Prisms

Speak to our experts about your Custom Right Angle Prisms needs today

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    Optical Properties of Right Angle Prisms

    Below are our typical manufacturing capabilities, we offer right angle prisms in Schott and equivalent glass types such as BK7, as well as more specialist materials including UV or IR fused silica and crystalline materials such as calcium fluoride and zinc selenide, more information on these can be found on our infrared page.

    All optics are 100% visually inspected before packaging, our staff are trained to ISO 10110 and MIL-0-13830A, and can check down to 10/5 scratch/dig which is especially critical for lenses used in laser applications.

    Dimensions2mm to 100mm+
    Angular tolerances< 1 arcminute
    Surface Figure< 0.5 fringe
    Scratch/dig< 60/40

    Frequently Asked Questions

    A right angle prism is a type of optical prism that is shaped in a right-angled triangle. It is commonly used to deflect light, change the orientation of an image, or split a beam of light into its component colours. Right angle prisms are versatile components in various optical devices, including cameras, binoculars, periscopes, and optical measurement instruments, due to their ability to redirect light paths by 90 degrees or to invert images without inverting them left to right.

    Optical right angle prisms are distinguished by their specific shape and the way they manipulate light. Unlike other prisms, such as equilateral or pentaprism, a right angle prism has two sides that meet at a 90-degree angle. This unique feature allows it to reflect light internally with total internal reflection, making it efficient for directing light with minimal loss. This characteristic makes right angle prisms particularly useful for applications requiring precise light path control.

    Yes, a right angle prism can function as a mirror. When light enters the prism, it hits one of the legs of the right angle and reflects off the hypotenuse at a 90-degree angle due to total internal reflection. This property allows the prisms to be used in place of mirrors in some optical systems as right angle prism mirrors, especially when a precise 90-degree reflection angle is needed. Additionally, coating the hypotenuse with a reflective layer can enhance the reflection, making it effective even at angles or wavelengths where total internal reflection might not occur naturally.

    Right angle glass prisms are typically made from optical-grade glass materials, such as BK7, fused silica, or borosilicate glass. These materials are chosen for their clarity, optical transmission properties, and resistance to thermal and environmental changes. The choice of material depends on the specific application requirements, including the wavelength of light being used, the required precision, and environmental factors. Optical-grade glass ensures high durability and excellent light transmission, making it ideal for precision optical instruments.

    The design of a right angular prism, including its angles, material, and surface quality, critically affects its optical performance. The precision of the angles ensures accurate light deflection and image orientation. The material’s refractive index determines how light is bent or reflected within the prism, affecting the prism’s efficiency in different wavelengths. Surface quality, including smoothness and coatings, can enhance transmission, reduce unwanted reflections, and protect against environmental damage, ensuring optimal performance in its intended application.

    Right angle prisms are widely used in various technological and research applications due to their ability to redirect light precisely. In optical instruments, they are used to change the direction of light paths, correct image orientation, and split light beams for analysis. They are also essential components in surveying equipment, laser systems, and telescopic sights, where precise angular redirection of light is crucial. Additionally, in scientific research, right angle prisms are used in spectroscopy, optical testing, and experiments requiring precise control over light paths.

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    We are ready and waiting to answer any queries you may have about right angle prisms.

    Additional Information

    Deviation Prism

    A right angle prism is a deviation prism, it changes the path of the incident beam (via TIR). However, the returned image is is either left- or right-handed dependent on whether the light is deviated by 90° or 180° respectively.

    Total Internal Reflection

    Total internal reflection (TIR) occurs when the incident ray enters the prism, passing straight through with no refraction, then hits the glass-air boundary at a 45° angle which is larger than the critical angle (approximate 42° in glass). This leads to the phenomenon TIR of the light ray which is completely reflected by 90° and exits straight through the prism with no further refraction.


    Right angle prisms are often used in place of plane mirrors due to their ease of mounting and alignment within a system.

    Light Deviation

    Generally when the light is deviated through the prism by 180° it is more commonly known as a porro prism and often used in pairs to revert the image back to its original orientation within a system.


    AR Coatings

    Antireflective (AR) coatings such as BBAR.

    Mirror Coatings

    Mirror coatings for UV, visible and IR wavelengths.

    Black Optical Pain

    Protective black optical paint to enhance the reflection off the back surface.

    Get in touch with us:

    With our in-house state-of-the-art metrology laboratory you can be confident that your optical components will meet your requirements. You can find out more about our testing facilities here.

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