I've done a lot of experimental work in materials science and solid-state physics, but I'm currently venturing into the computational realm. I'm trying to compute optical constants ($n$ and $k$) for a certain composite material, but the model requires the dielectric function $\epsilon(\lambda$) of the two constituent materials. I've seen many papers that use these functions to generate spectra; where can I find these functions?

The materials I'm concerned with are VO$_2$ nanocrystals dispersed in a host matrix of In$_2$O$_3$ nanocrystals.


1 Answer 1


Typically the dielectric function is measured by reflectivity or ellipsonetry measurements. The reflectivity is most directly related to the optical conductivity, which is then related to the dielectric function. In other words, it is best to search with terms such as "reflectivity", "ellipsometry", "optical conductivity", "optical response", etc. For example, if I look up "optical conductivity vanadium oxide" I find the following link on Google scholar:


  • $\begingroup$ I'm able to find spectra for the dielectric constants, but I'm unable to find the function itself, and I need the functional equation in order to calculate optical constants. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 6:03
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    $\begingroup$ You won't find equations for dielectric functions except in some rare cases. This is because the "equation" is unknown; at best you are just approximating the data. Instead what you need to do is digitize the data (with some program, check on Google) and then compute whatever you want numerically. $\endgroup$
    – KF Gauss
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 10:55
  • $\begingroup$ This site may have what you need. [Moved from answer to comment.] $\endgroup$
    – garyp
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 11:52

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