Dichroic Glass was originally created for the Aerospace industry for Satellite mirrors, but it now has many technical uses including: Lighting, Fibre Optics, Infrared Lasers, Motion Picture Equipment, Sun Glasses, and more.
Its resilience to weather and never-fading colours are prime material to enhance office buildings, custom homes, walkways, fountains, skylights, walls, lighting fixtures and more. As manufacture becomes more reliable and price more affordable, it has become a popular material among artists.
These high-tech coatings are capable of reflecting a narrow band of light (or one colour) and at the same time, transmitting the remaining part of light. The coating process is completed in a vacuum deposition chamber by vaporising quartz and metal oxides with an electron beam gun and condensing micro thin layers on the surface of the glass in the form of a crystal structure. This coating that we commonly call Dichroic glass, is actually an “interference filter” permanently adhered to the surface of a piece of glass. The technology used to manufacture the optical interference filter has been in existence for many years. It is known as “vacuum thin film deposition.”
Dichroic Glass is a multi layer coating placed on glass by using a highly technical vacuum deposition process. Quartz Crystal and Metal Oxides are Vaporised with an electron beam gun in an airless vacuum chamber and the vapour then floats upward and attaches then condenses on the surface of the glass in the form of a crystal structure. Colours can have as many as 30 layers of these materials yet the thickness of the total coating is approximately 35 millionths of an inch! The coating that is created is very similar to a gemstone and by careful control in thickness, different colours are obtained. Thus, all colour coatings are created using the same exact materials. The main characteristic of Dichroic Glass is that it has a transmitted colour and a completely different reflective colour. Furthermore, these two colours shift depending on angle of view. With the play of light together with its vibrant colour, Dichroic Glass is a prime tool used to add interest to any piece of work or project.