Dispersion coding of ENZ media via multiple photonic dopants

Media with small permittivity, i.e., the epsilon-near-zero (ENZ) media, have drawn a great deal of attention from the fields of physics, materials science, and engineering. The wavelength in ENZ medium is in principle infinitely ...

Tomographic measurement of dielectric tensors

A research team reported the direct measurement of dielectric tensors of anisotropic structures including the spatial variations of principal refractive indices and directors. The group also demonstrated quantitative tomographic ...

Researchers develop silicon cuboid nanoantenna

In a new publication from Opto-Electronic Advances, researchers from South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China, discuss silicon cuboid nanoantenna with simultaneous large Purcell factor for electric dipole, magnetic ...

page 1 from 12


A dielectric is an electrical insulator that can be polarized by an applied electric field. When a dielectric is placed in an electric field, electric charges do not flow through the material, as in a conductor, but only slightly shift from their average equilibrium positions causing dielectric polarization. Because of dielectric polarization, positive charges are displaced toward the field and negative charges shift in the opposite direction. This creates an internal electric field which reduces the overall field within the dielectric itself. If a dielectric is composed of weakly bonded molecules, those molecules not only become polarized, but also reorient so that their symmetry axis aligns to the field.

Although the term "insulator" implies low electrical conduction, "dielectric" is typically used to describe materials with a high polarizability. The latter is expressed by a number called the dielectric constant. A common, yet notable example of a dielectric is the electrically insulating material between the metallic plates of a capacitor. The polarization of the dielectric by the applied electric field increases the capacitor's surface charge.

The study of dielectric properties is concerned with the storage and dissipation of electric and magnetic energy in materials. It is important to explain various phenomena in electronics, optics, and solid-state physics.

The term "dielectric" was coined by William Whewell (from "dia-electric") in response to a request from Michael Faraday.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA