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Polymer Optic Transmission CurvePolymer Optic Transmission Curve©️ Polymer Optic Transmission Curve

Transmission Curves for Polymer Optics


Transmission is an important parameter of an optic affecting its performance. For polymer optics, transmission is typically limited by Fresnel reflection, scatter, and material absorption.

Fresnel reflection is a function of index of refraction and can be reduced by applying an anti-reflection coating. Scatter is caused by surface roughness, surface imperfections, and material imperfections, and can be reduced by optimizing the manufacturing process.

Absorption is mostly a property of the material. Thermoplastic resins used for injection molding transmit quite well in the visible and near-infrared spectrum, but have very limited transmission in the ultra-violet, mid-wave infrared, and long-wave infrared ranges. The chart below shows typical transmission curves for commonly used thermoplastic materials.

Material transmission can be altered by mixing and blending a base polymer with additives to achieve a specific spectral response. These additives can block this material transmission in certain ranges or modify its color.

Transmission was measured on 1-3 mm thick uncoated witness samples using a PerkinElmer Model 950 UV/VIS spectrophotometer.

Download the full dataset of transmission curves for specific materials used in polymer optics:
Transmission curves

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