What is Dichroic Glass?

A quarter sheet of dichroic glassI’m Glad you asked. ‘Dichroic (‘Di*Kro*ik’) glass’ is really a misnomer, the dichroic part is a very thin film of metal oxides which are too thin to stand alone and have therefore been layered onto a sheet of glass which acts as a substrate to lend the thin film strength.  What we commonly refer to as dichroic glass is any glass that is coated with metallic oxides such as silicon, titanium and magnesium in a vacuum furnace using a technology called thin-film physics.

Dichroic means ‘two colors’ and the glass is called this because it reflects one color but transmits another (the color you see when you hold the glass up to the light and look thru it.) It was developed in the early 70’s for use in the aerospace industry. Dichroic glass is commonly used in the laser industry and in scientific measuring equipment. You may be most familiar with it as dichroic filters for 35mm cameras or in Pia headlights for trucks and Jeeps. If you go to the dentist, you’ll see that the bright light above your head uses a sheet of dichroic glass as well. Truly a medium for the 21st Century. Who said physics was no fun?

Take home a piece of high technology for your very own today and impress your friends with your newfound knowledge!

Tree of Life Pendant – example of what one can do with Dichroic Glass