Here at Newport Thin Film Laboratory, we are well aware of the fact that the average person probably has no idea what optical thin films are. In truth, optical thin films, and thin films in general, have gone largely unnoticed by the public even though these materials are in literally millions of products that are used every single day. While the world may never be as excited about optical thin films as we are, we still find ourselves wanting to spread as much information as possible about these amazing coatings. As a direct result of this desire to share information, we are going to spend today’s post going over neutral density filters, one of the optical thin film products that we produce. By the end of this blog, we hope you have a better understanding of what neutral density filters are used for and why they are important for a wide variety of scientific, technical, and engineering applications.
In the realm of photography and optics, neutral-density filters that reduce or modify the intensity of incident light. They accomplish this by reflecting and absorbing certain percentages of the incoming light, only letting through those wavelengths that are desirable. In photography, the purpose of neutral-density filters, or ND filters for short, is to reduce the amount of light that enters the lens during a shot. By reducing the amount of light coming into the camera, the photographer has more freedom in setting certain combinations of the camera’s aperture, exposure time, and sensor sensitivity that would otherwise not be possible because they would produce overexposed pictures. By giving photographers this freedom, neutral-density filters allow them to achieve certain camera effects while simultaneously allowing them to capture photos in a wider range of situations and atmospheric conditions.
In addition to their use in the field of photography, ND filters are also widely used in experiments that make use of high-powered lasers. Because the power of a laser cannot be adjusted without also affecting other properties of the light beam and most lasers have a minimal power setting at which they can be operated, neutral-density filters are used in conjunction with one another to achieve the desired light attenuation by filtering out undesirable wavelengths. Disrupting the path of the laser beam at certain intervals with different types of ND filters not only allows researchers to study the end result of the beam, but also allows them to study each section as it is passed through each individual filter.
If you would like to learn more about ND filters, or you would like to contact us about a job you need done, please visit our website today. At Newport Thin Film Laboratory, we a leading manufacturer of high performance thin film coatings and we are confident that our experience provides us with the knowledge that we need to handle any job you may have. Contact us today and learn what we can do for you.