Polymer skips the light fandango
By Roger Brownlie
12 November 2003 – Nitto Denko Corporation of Japan has produced what it claims is an optical grade polymer with the highest refractive index in the world.
Compared with previous polymers, the refractive index has risen by 10-15% to 1.76. The thermosetting polymer also has good thermal resistance and processing properties.
By adding titania, zirconia, and other metal oxide nanoparticles with a high refractive index it is possible to design new materials with even higher refraction, the company said.
Optical materials with high refraction indexes help to lower power consumption and size by improving the light emission and reception efficiency of equipment. For example, a mobile phone display can be optimised to increase its luminescence or reduce its power consumption. The thickness of lenses and displays can also be decreased.