The refractive index of submillimeter glass beads has been measured by means of a novel, to our knowledge, procedure with reference liquids that does not require close index matching and therefore avoids the use of toxic compounds for high-index glasses (i.e., n ≥ 1.8). The method is based on the analysis of the light refracted by a monolayer of beads in comparison with ray-tracing simulations. For the three different types of glass beads investigated a satisfactory fit is achieved by the assumption of a radial variation of the refractive index inside the beads. This is ascribed to the tensile and compressive stresses originating inside the beads during rapid solidification of the glass.
© 1997 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: April 21, 1997
Revised Manuscript: July 11, 1997
Published: December 1, 1997
F. Sarcinelli, R. Pizzoferrato, and F. Scudieri, "Study of the refractive index of microscopic glass beads by light-refraction analysis," Appl. Opt. 36, 8999-9004 (1997)