Dichroic Glass

The name "Dichroic glass is actually wrong. One would think  
that one can invoke a sort of glass, which it is nott. But what is it?

Dichroic is mounted on the glass in extremely thin layers metal oxide. These metal oxide layer thickness varies from several nanometers (one millionth of a millimeter) to about ten nanometers. By itself, a similar layer mechanically so weak that without substrate (Substrate layer) could not exist. Glass is an excellent carrier for the oxide layer. It can withstand relatively high temperatures, has good stiffness, is transparent and most of its liquids and acids are not easily affected. The metal oxide layer is chemically more stable than most glasses. But how are those beautiful colors we see in the dichroic glass created?

The way the metal oxide layer is constructed and installed, it functions as an "Interference Filter". The (visible) light, as we observe every day consists of a range of colors. This is called the "visible light spectrum mentioned. These are the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. The interference filter splits the light as it were in the colors of the rainbow. Under certain circumstances the rain does the same. The rain (as interference filter) causes a visible rainbow, the colors of the rainbow neatly side by side in half circular path are visible.

To increase the understanding of the use of dichroic to obtain a number of elements must be well understood. First, the metal oxide layer (interference filter) is in itself perfectly clear and colourless. In second place in the filter itself does not absorb visible light instead. In third place you should know that there is a relationship between light (light energy) emitted or reflected.

The interference filter works like a selective colour mirror. The colour that is reflected by the mirror, we see through the optical characteristics of the filter applied. The light produced by the selective colour mirror is reflected is equal to the amount of emitted light that landed on the filter surface. The energy of the entire visible spectrum of light that hit the surface of the filter was not absorbed by the filter. This contrasts with a random piece of colored glass, which lights the glass surface, and penetrates into the glass with a portion of the colour spectrum is absorbed. The only colour the glass itself shows, is the colour that is not absorbed but transmitted by reflection.

A distinctive feature of the interference filters (metal oxide layers) is also apparent that the reflected colours are ever as the glass mounted on the filter is viewed at different angles. By applying multiple layers of metal oxide and the optical properties of the dichroic filter can also produce a colour. In that case, then by the dichroic glass for example, only the colour red or green broadcast. By the metal oxide layers on black glass in a part of the visible spectrum through the black glass which absorbed only through the filter reflected colors remain.

For the color description of the Dichroic glass is still no international standardization established. Nevertheless, the use of dichroic glass for glass artists and hobbyists a very attractive and dynamic addition to work or bid for. Especially in "fusing" objects can Dichroic glass for stunning effects. Dichroic glass is also increasingly used in the manufacture of jewelry. Nice examples can be found among others in the book "West of the moon microwave kiln techniques" which can be found under "Other books" on this site
 In addition, the dichroic quite often used in combination with an equally rapidly growing hobby activities in the Netherlands, the manufacture of silver jewelry using PMC clay (Precious Metal Clay) (see also under "Silver Clay" on our site). Short interest and the use of dichroic glass is increasing.