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A Solution to the Challenge of Identifying Optical Materials

6th Dec 2018

Knight Optical, a global leader in precision optical component design, consultancy and manufacturing, has released a whitepaper entitled, ‘Identifying Optical Materials with Precision Accuracy’, highlighting the importance of materials verification in optical component quality control and the challenges thrown up by the fact that even materials that look similar can differ considerably, often leading to significant quality and accuracy issues.

The paper, a must-read for anyone involved in optical component quality control, explores standard testing techniques for materials identification, and how their depth of preciseness is lacking, especially for materials with a tendency to adopt various guises.

Refractive index, density and transmission are traditional methods used to verify materials, but in the quest for exceptional quality, Knight Optical asks, are they really good enough? Would they really stand up to stringent scrutiny and deliver when it matters most for mission-critical applications?

Transmission, say the authors of the paper, Martin Bailitis BSc and Nathan Cosbie-Ross MPhys, can be a key differentiator.

 “Take fused silica for example” says Martin. “Whilst it’s refractive index and density are pretty much the same, it’s transmission properties can be different in the UV and IR ranges depending on the grade of material”.

However, whilst transmission can be used to differentiate certain materials, the authors of the whitepaper push to ask whether there is more that can be done to resolve the challenge of materials verification for the ultimate in precision accuracy. In other words, can the whole testing process be made more in-depth? What is needed to take optical materials verification to the next level?

The paper reveals that pinpoint accuracy is indeed possible, and how it can make all the difference in the quest for outstanding quality in optical components, and innovation in design.

The whitepaper shows how optical materials verification can be taken to the next level using a range of optical testing instruments including digital microscopes, interferometers and spectrometers, all of which are revealed by the paper’s authors.

Nathan says, “We are excited to share these new insights into the common challenges presented by materials verification in optical component testing, and for reverse engineering in design. Knight Optical has always been committed to delivering the utmost in design quality and precision accuracy. Our mission to discover precisely how to do just that has led to these very interesting findings.”

The report can be downloaded for free at: /wp-content/uploads/2020/01/White-Paper-Identifying-Optical-Materials-with-Precision-Accuracy.pdf