The Refractive Index of Water Ice
page serves to gather available information on the refractive index
of water ice. |
Water can exist in the solid phase as amorphous ice (Ia), or in a crystalline form as either hexagonal (Ih) or cubic (Ic) ice. Cubic ice is a metastable crystal and will transform into hexagonal ice (Ih) upon warming. This transformation is time and temperature dependent, requiring roughly 1 hour at 170 K and 6 or more days at 145 K. Amorphous ice (Ia) forms at temperatures below 100 K, and will crystallize into Ic at temperatures above ~135 K. Because crystallization is irreversible, ice existing as Ih or Ic will remain unchanged upon cooling to temperatures as low as 100 K. The current record of available ice refractive indices covers Ia, Ic, and Ih and temperatures from 10 to 266 K. The optical properties of hexagonal and cubic ice are generally considered to be identical (Warren, 1984, Mastrapa et al., 2008), however, the existing data do not necessarily validate that assertion.
The table below summarizes the ice refractive indices and offers the data as ascii files. The files are taken from the original sources and reformated into a common format. The data are roughly ordered by temperature.
An IDL file reader is available here (read_ice_index.pro).
For questions or comments contact Mark Hervig (firstname.lastname@example.org). The page is currently under construction.
Refractive Index Links
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Mastrapa, R. M., M. P. Bernstein, S. A. Sandford, T. L. Roush, D. P. Cruikshank, C. M. Dalle Ore, Optical constants of amorphous and crystalline H2O-ice in the near infrared from 1.1 to 2.6 μm, Icarus, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2008.04.008, 2008.
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Rajaram B., D. L. Glandorf, D. B. Curtis, M. A. Tolbert, O. B. Toon, and N. Ockman, Temperature-dependent optical constants of water ice in the near infrared: new results and critical review of the available measurements, Applied Optics, 40, 4449-4462, 2001.
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Warren, S. G., Optical constants of ice from the ultraviolet to the microwave, Appl. Optics, 23, 11,906-11,926, 1984.
Warren, S. G., and R. E. Brandt, Optical constants of ice from the ultraviolet to the microwave: A revised compilation, J. Geophys. Res., 113, doi:10.1029/2007JD009744, 2008.