Metricon Corporation has pioneered the practical application of prism coupling technology, providing unmatched ease and accuracy in measurement of refractive index and thickness of thin films and index of bulk materials and characterization of optical waveguide loss. Since its inception in 1980, more than a thousand Metricon systems have been delivered to top universities, research institutes, and corporations in more than 40 countries and Metricon prism coupling systems have been referenced in hundreds of articles in scientific journals.

Metricon’s fourth generation instrument, the Model 2010/M Prism Coupler, offers unique advantages over conventional instruments, including ellipsometers and Abbe refractometers:

  • Routine index accuracy of ±.0005, resolution of ±.0003 (accuracy of up to ±.0001, resolution ±.00005 achievable for many applications)
  • Completely general, requires no advance modeling – no knowledge of thickness, index, or material type required.
  • Tolerant of poor sample quality – minimal/no sample preparation, no matching fluids
  • Wide application area – measures thin films on higher or lower index substrates, free standing/flexible polymer films, waveguides, SPR structures
  • High accuracy determination of dispersion (index vs wavelength) and dn/dT
  • Maximum index measurable ~3.3

Metricon’s prism coupling instruments are currently used in a very broad range of application areas:

  • Measuring refractive index vs wavelength (dispersion) of thin films and bulk materials
  • Measuring refractive index/birefringence and dispersion of flexible polymer films for display applications
  • Measuring refractive index, thickness, and loss of optical waveguides.
  • Measuring refractive index /birefringence/crystallinity/orientation of oriented or extruded polymer films
  • Measuring coating thickness and index on flexible polymer and other substrates
  • Measuring refractive index vs temperature (dn/dT) for thin films and bulk materials
  • Measuring refractive index of epoxies/gels/encapsulants and other index-matching materials
  • Measuring refractive index and dispersion (including Abbe number) of fully hydrated contact lenses
  • Measuring refractive index for eyeglass lenses and thickness/index for lens coatings
  • Measuring index gradients in optical waveguides and polymers
  • Measuring effects of nanomaterials and other dopants on refractive index
  • Measuring refractive index of liquids
  • Measurement of electro-optic coefficients
  • Measuring surface plasmon resonance (SPR) structures


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