What are High Refractive Index Materials?

A refractive index is an indicator of how different frequencies and wavelengths of light propagate through a transparent material. Rates of refraction, reflection, and attenuation are considered when calculating the refractive index of transparent media, which tends to fall between 1 – 2 n. Continued innovations with photonic technology such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) have progressed in conjunction with our understanding of the behavior of light as it travels through different mediums.

A high refractive index material is generally agreed to be a treated glass, polymer, or chemical coating displaying a refractive index of >1.50. High refractive index materials are commonly integrated with materials of contrasting refractivity to form transparent components with anti-reflective properties.

Material processing

Applications of High Refractive Index Materials

High refractive index materials are increasingly prevalent in optoelectronic applications. They are primarily useful for optimizing the visual properties of electronic displays, including LCDs, OLEDs, and quantum dot (QDLED) televisions.

Each of these technologies relies upon the propagation of light through a series of filters and a final glass or plastic panel. It is important that the maximum amount of light be transmitted from the interior diodes to ensure high-quality images are displayed on-screen. Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets require good degrees of useability in varying conditions, with little to no shortfall of device performance in demanding scenarios. For example, consumers want mobile devices that retain their exceptional optical properties even under direct sunlight. This requires the application of anti-reflective materials to mitigate glare and ensure they can actively use their devices in bright conditions.

Avantama has developed a range of finely-tuned nano dispersions using high refractive index materials for optical thin film processing applications. End-products exhibit excellent anti-reflectivity to reduce glare and improve everyday useability. LCD antireflection coatings are available for thin film electronic deposition printing processes. OLED out-coupling coatings are also available up to the maximum refractive index of 1.95.

While the primary purpose of antireflection materials is to minimize glare for varying components, the increase in light attenuation, or absorption, is crucial for the solar energy sector. Organic photovoltaic cells (OPCs) are solution-processed solar panels that benefit from anti-reflectivity by maximizing the amount of light that is absorbed and processed. Conventional solar cells could reflect as much as 30% of incident light, which massively reduces its potential energy capacity. OPCs produced using high reflective index materials are crucial for supplementing the world’s gradually increasing energy demands.

High Refractive Index Products from Avantama

Avantama is a leading developer of nanoparticles and solutions for application in some of the world’s most dynamic, cutting-edge sectors. Our thin film deposition chemicals and nanoparticles have been processed for the aerospace, electronics, and energy industries with successful results. We are continuing to develop various high refractive index nanograde materials with potentially limitless applications.

If you would like any more information about our high refractive index materials, please do not hesitate to contact us.