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  HOME > Characteristics of Fine Ceramics > Optical - Overview 
Optical
Overview
Optical Properties of Fine Ceramics

Multicrystalline Fine Ceramics (also known as “advanced ceramics”) possess a microstructure of crystal grain boundaries and microscopic pores which diffuses light and makes it difficult to pass through.

In contrast, single-crystal sapphire contains no grain boundaries or pores, making it as clear as glass. It also exhibits far superior strength and thermal conductivity than glass. As a result, single-crystal sapphire is an excellent material for making windows for high power LCD projectors, among other things.

Additionally, semiconductive and dielectric crystals are employed in products that make use of the tonal and refractive changes in light which result from interactions between crystals and magnetic fields.


Applications: Windows for high power LCD projectors, fluorescent lights, light sensors and other related products.

Description
Classifying Fine Ceramics by Optical Properties

Fine Ceramics are sintered materials consisting of microscopic crystal particles separated by boundary elements. Fine Ceramics can be made translucent by minimizing pores and boundary elements after sintering, and by increasing crystal size in order to reduce boundary interfaces.

In addition, some varieties of Fine Ceramic crystals have semiconductive, ferrodielectric and ferromagnetic properties. These exhibit changes in fluorescence, phosphorescence, color tone and birefringence due to interactions with light and electric / magnetic fields.

Translucency The property that allows a material to transmit light. It is observed primarily among single-crystal materials. Sintered materials of high density and purity with low levels of birefringence, and grain boundaries with low levels of light scattering are most likely to exhibit translucency.
Fluorescence /
Phosphorescence
Properties that involve absorbing radiated light and emanating light of different wavelengths.
Electro-optic effect An effect that involves changes in the resistance value of a material in response to an electric field.
Acousto-optic effect A light diffraction effect based on periodic refractive changes produced by acoustic waves.
Magneto-optical
effect
An effect involving changes in a material's refractive index and light-absorption coefficient corresponding to the strength of a magnetic field (also known as the Faraday effect).
Photochromic effect An effect that involves changes in color tone resulting from acquired light.
Laser excitation
effect
An effect that involves generating powerful lasers as a result of resonance.
   
 
The term "Fine Ceramics" is interchangeable with "advanced ceramics," "technical ceramics" and "engineered ceramics." Use varies by region and industry.
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