Definition - What does Optical Coating mean?
An optical coating is a thin layer or group of layers of a coating material that is applied to an optical device. There are different types of optical coatings that serve a variety of purposes for equipment used to inspect objects for corrosion and other physical characteristics. Optical coatings are frequently used to reduce or increase reflectivity, filter out certain light wavelengths or split light beams.
Corrosionpedia explains Optical Coating
One type of optical coating is called an anti-reflective coating, which is typically comprised of dielectric material applied to an optical lens. This is usually done using the sputtering or vacuum deposition coating method. These anti-reflective coatings are used to ensure that light and light energy are not deflected away from the optical device.
The opposite of anti-reflective coatings are reflective coatings. These are typically made of a metallic material and applied to an optical device so that light will not be absorbed by it. There are more complex optical coatings that are anti-reflective to some light wavelengths but reflective to other wavelengths.
Optical coatings are also used for filtering. Different wavelengths can be filtered through the filter coating so that only the desired light wavelengths are allowed to pass through the coating.
Finally, optical coatings are used to split light beams. These coatings can be useful for spectrometers, microscopes and equipment used for land surveying.