Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Refractive index measurements of Ge



John H. Burnett, Simon G. Kaplan


A program has been started at NIST to make high-accuracy measurements of the infrared (IR) index properties of technologically important IR materials, in order to provide the IR optics community with updated values for the highest-quality materials now available. For this purpose, we designed and built a minimum-deviation-angle refractometry system enabling diffraction-limited index measurements for wavelengths from 0.12 micrometers to 14 micrometers. We discuss the apparatus and procedures that we use for IR measurements. First results are presented for germanium for the wavelength range from 2 micrometers to 14 micrometers, with standard uncertainties ranging from 2 x 10^-5 near 2 micrometers to 8 x 10-5 near 14 micrometers. This is an improvement by about an order of magnitude of the uncertainty level for index data of germanium generally used for optic design. A Sellmeier formula fitting our data for this range is provided. An analysis of the uncertainty is presented in detail. These measurements are compared to previous measurements of Ge.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of SPIE Optics and Photonics, San Diego (2016).
Conference Dates
August 28-September 1, 2016
Conference Location
San Diego, CA
Conference Title
SPIE Optics and Photonics


index, index of refraction, refractive index, dispersion, refractometry, Germanium, Ge, infrared


Burnett, J. and Kaplan, S. (2016), Refractive index measurements of Ge, Proceedings of SPIE Optics and Photonics, San Diego (2016)., San Diego, CA, [online], (Accessed June 13, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created October 20, 2016, Updated November 10, 2018