Dichroic glass is available as a result of materials research carried out by NASA and its contractors, who developed it for use in dichroic filters. However, color changing glass dates back to at least the 4th century AD, though only a very few pieces, mostly fragments, survive. It was also made in the Renaissance in Venice and by imitators elsewhere; these pieces are also rare.

One dichroic material is a modern composite non-translucent glass that is produced by stacking layers of glass and micro-layers of metals or oxides which give the glass shifting colors depending on the angle of view, causing an array of colors to be displayed as an example of thin-film optics. The resulting glass is used for decorative purposes such as stained glass, jewelry and other forms of glass art. The commercial title of “dichro” can also display three or more colors (trichroic or pleochroic) and even iridescence in some cases. The term dichroic is used more precisely when labelling interference filters for laboratory use.

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