Reference & DataBase of Optical Constants

[To cite the database one can use the reference:
Th.Henning et al. (1999) WWW database of optical constants for astronomy.
Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. 136, 405.]

Groups of materials:

For collected references to papers and data files, please follow the links to the groups of materials given above!   More data and information may be found in other databases, published collections of optical constants and reviews and books on the subject listed below. Of some interest may be the tools of the Kramers-Kronig analysis, the Effective Medium Theory and light scattering codes available in Internet. About all that see below.

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Related Topics

WWW databases of optical constants:

  1. Database on X-ray interaction with matter
    The database includes a lot of things related to the problem. In particular it allows one to obtain "optical" properties of different materials in the energy range from 30 up to 30.000 eV.
  2. Database of solid CO and CO2 for ISO
    The database contains files with the optical constants of apolar and polar ices. The data were derived from laboratory measured infrared spectra of mixtures containing CO and CO2 at temperatures between 10 and 80 K.
  3. Ice analogs database
    In the database one can find the infrared spectra of laboratory analogs of interstellar ices. The analogs consist of mixtures of the molecules H2, H2O, NH3, CH4, CO, H2CO, CH3OH, O2, N2, and CO2.
  4. Jena Laboratory database
    Optical constants of many materials of astronomical interest have been determined in the laboratory of Friedrich-Schiller-University (Jena). Files with the data have free access.
  5. Optical constants of amorphous carbon
    A collection of files with the optical constants of different amorphous carbon samples.
  6. Optical constants of some astrophysical materials
    FTP access to files with the optical constants of astronomical silicate, graphite, and silicon carbide very often used in astrophysics.
  7. Optical constants of water (and ice)
    A collection of data for water and old Warren's code compiling the refractive index of water ice (a updated code is here).
  8. Optical properties of materials used in applications
    On the pages of Crystran Ltd one can find tables with optical, physical and chemical characteristics of materials (silicon, sapphire, crystal quartz, fused silica, MgO, etc) used in the manufacture of optics for infrared and ultraviolet applications.
  9. HITRAN's aerosol indices of refraction
    HITRAN - High resolution transmission molecular absorption database has produced files with the refractive index of aerosol. Its page includes links to other spectral databases.
  10. U.S.Geological Survey database
    Digital spectral library of minerals from 0.2 to 3 um (splib04a) as well as other spectral libraries, software and useful information on (imaging) spectroscopy (incl. that of planets) are available.
  11. ASTER spectral database
    A compilation of almost 2000 spectra of natural and man made materials.
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Some published collections of optical constants:

  1. Zolotarev V.M., Morozov V.N., Smirnova E.V. (1984)
    Opticheskie Postojannie Prirodnich i Technicheskich Sred
    (Optical Constants of Natural and Technical Materials). Himija, Leningrad (in Russian).
  2. Palik E.D. (ed.) (1985)
    Handbook of Optical Constants of Solids.
    Academic Press, New York.
  3. Palik E.D. (ed.) (1991)
    Handbook of Optical Constants of Solids II.
    Academic Press, New York.
  4. Palik E.D. (ed.) (1998)
    Handbook of Optical Constants of Solids III.
    Academic Press, New York.
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Some books:

  1. Abeles F. (ed.) (1966) Optical Properties and Electronic Structure of Metals and Alloys. North-Holland Publ. Co., Amsterdam.
  2. Abeles F. (ed.) (1970) Optical Properties of Solids. Elsevier, New-York.
  3. Abeles F. (ed.) (1972) Optical Properties of Solids. Elsevier, New-York.
  4. Agranovich V.M., Ginzburg V.L. (1979) Kristallooptika s uchetom prostranstvennoj dispersii i teorii eksitonov. Nauka, Moscow.
  5. Azzam R.M.A., Bashara N.N. (1989) Ellipsometry and Polarized Light. North-Holland Publ. Co., Amsterdam.
  6. Bohren C.F., Huffman D.R. (1983) Absorption and Scattering of Light by Small Particles. J.Wiley & Sons, New York.
  7. Crosswhite H.M., Moos H.W. (eds.) (1967) Optical Properties of Ions in Crystals. Interscience, New York.
  8. DiBartolo B. (ed.) (1974) Optical Properties of Ions in Solids. Plenum, New York.
  9. Egan W.G., Hilgenman T.W. (1979) Optical Properties of Inhomogeneous Materials. Applications to Geology, Astronomy, Chemistry, and Engineering. Academic Press, New York.
  10. Farmer V.C. (ed.) (1999) The Infrared Spectra of Minerals. Mineral.Soc., London.
  11. Greenaway D.L., Harbeke G. (1968) Optical Properties and Band Structure of Solids. Pergamon, Oxford.
  12. Hapke B.W. (1993) Reflectance and Emittance Spectroscopy. Cambr. Univ. Press, Cambridge.
  13. Herzberg G. (1945) Infrared and Raman Spectra of Polyatomic Molecules. Van Nostrand, New-York.
  14. Hodgson J.N. (1970) Optical Absorption and Dispersion in Solids. Chapman & Hall, London.
  15. Hohler G. (ed.) (1970) Optical Constants of Solids. Springer Tracts in Physics, vol.54. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  16. Ivlev L.S., Andreev S.D. (1986) Opticheskie Svoistva Atmosfernych Aerozolej. Leningrad Univ. Press, Leningrad.
  17. Mitra S.S., Nudelman S. (eds.) (1970) Far-infrared Properties of Solids. Plenum, New-York.
  18. Mitra S.S., Bendow B. (eds.) (1975) Optical Properties of Highly Transparent Solids. Plenum, New-York.
  19. Moss T.S. (1961) Optical Properties of Semiconductors. Butterworth, London.
  20. Nudelman S., Mitra S.S. (eds.) (1969) Optical Properties of Solids. Plenum, New York.
  21. Roeseler A. (1990) Infrared Spectroscopic Ellipsometry. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin.
  22. Salisbury J.W., Walter L.S., Vergo N, D'Aria D.M. (1991) Infrared (2.1 - 25 um) Spectra of Minerals. J.Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
  23. Sherwood P.M.A. (1972) Vibrational Spectroscopy of Solids. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  24. Tauc J. (1966) Optical Properties of Solids. Academic Press, New York.
  25. Weaver J. et al. (1981) Physical Data: Optical Properties of Metals. Fach-Inform.-Zentr., Karlsruhe.
  26. Wooten F. (1972) Optical Properties of Solids. Academic Press, New York.
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(the section is under construction)

Some reviews:

  1. Clark R.N. (1999) Spectroscopy of Rocks and Minerals, and Principles of Spectroscopy. In: Rencz A. (ed.) Manual of Remote Sensing. J.Wiley & Sons, New York,
  2. Huffman D.R. (1977) Adv. Phys. 26, 129
  3. Lien D.J. (1991) In: Newburn R.L.Jr. et al. (eds.) Comets in the Post-Halley Era. v.2, p.1005.
  4. Salisbury J.W. (1993) Mid Infrared Spectroscopy: Laboratory Data. In: Pieters C.M., Englert P.A.J. (eds.) Remote Geochemical Analysis: Elemantal and mineralogical composition. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge
  5. Schmitt et al. (1998) Optical Properties of Ices from UV to Infrared. In: Schmitt B. et al. (eds.) Solar System Ices. Kluwer Acad. Publ., p. 199.
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Kramers-Kronig (KK) codes:

The integral Kramers-Kronig relations connect the real and imaginary parts of optical constants of a material at a frequency point with their values over the whole frequency domain (see e.g. Bohren & Huffman, 1983)
  1. KK toolbox
    These tools developed by Volker Ossenkopf include an interactive program that allows to check the KK consistency of refractive index or dielectric functions and extrapolate them. Computations are controlled by eye via graphical plots. The code is available on FTP server.
  2. KK analysis
    A special part of the KK toolbox for the analysis of transmission spectra of samples. The code is available on FTP server.
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Effective medium theory (EMT):

The EMT presents an approximation to estimate the optical properties of an inhomogeneous particle by its substitution with a homogeneous particle having an effective refractive index.
  1. some basics of EMT
    Several formula of the theory, a few words around them and some tools for EMT calculations are on this page of Ralf Stognienko.
  2. an EMT calculator
    Nice calculator created by Volker Ossenkopf. It allows to find the effective refractive index for some rules of EMT, several kinds of inclusions of different shapes, etc. The code is available on FTP server.
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Light scattering codes:

  1. Thomas Wriedt's list of codes
    Many links and references to different scattering codes available are given. An extended section on Mie theory codes includes a lot of simple and not simple codes for homogeneous spheres as well as codes for layered spheres, spheres with non-concentric inclusions, a sphere or cylinder on surface, bispheres. Most of these codes and T-matrix codes for rotationally symmetric scatters are free. In contrast, 3D codes are mainly commercial. They are based on different approaches: generalized multipole technique, method of moments, finite element and other methods. Not only Fortran codes, but some in C++, Pascal, etc.
  2. Piotr Flatau's list of the codes
    Another list of links to different codes available via Internet. Contrary to the Wriedt's list where the codes are ordered by the method used, here scattering codes are mainly grouped by the shape of the particles: spheres, infinite cylinders, spheroids, etc.
  3. a Java Mie code
    This code allows you to calculate the optical properties of a homogeneous sphere without leaving Internet.
  4. a couple of other Mie codes
    These codes calculate cross-sections, scattering matrix and (sometimes) the Planck averages for homogeneous spheres (and arbitrary ellipsoids in the quasistatic limit). There is a program to find the cross-sections for the case when the material has the magnetic permeability different from 1. The codes are available on FTP server.
  5. a Separation of Variables code
    The code simulates light scattering by homogeneous oblate and prolate spheroids with high accuracy. It gives cross-sections (and scattering matrix elements) for oblate and prolate spheroids in a very wide range of aspect ratio, size, and refractive index values.
  6. a sophisticated T-matrix code
    The code computes the light scattering by rotationally symmetric particles in fixed and random orientations. The code is much faster than any 3D technique (see below). It is in particular efficient when an averaging over particle's orientations is required.
  7. a 3D DDA code
    The standard tool for calculations of light scattering by particles of complex shape, structure, composition, etc. It is not fast when the particle's size is larger than the wavelength of incident radiation.
  8. ray-tracing codes
    Several ray-tracing codes for light scattering by polyhedral shaped particles, ellipsoids, nonspherical particles containing scattering and absorbing inclusions.
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Created by V.I., N.K.
Last modified: 26/12/00, V.I.