Mirrored sunglasses are sunglasses with a reflective coating on the outer side of the lenses, like small mirrors. Their popularity with US police officers earned them the nickname ‘Cop Shades’.
The two most popular styles of mirrored sunglasses are dual lenses (in metal frames, similar to Aviator sunglasses) and wraparound (semi-circular lens that covers both eyes). The wraparound version of mirrored sunglasses is very popular in the world of extreme sports.
The mirror coating in its earlier versions was achieved through a single layer of a deposited thin film of a suitable metal prepared by ion beam, sputter or vapor deposition. More modern versions of the process usually have several alternating layers of dielectric (electrical insulator) materials or sometimes metals such as nickel, titanium or chromium.
In Pop Culture, mirrored sunglasses are popular among the cyberpunk subculture that produced iconic films such as The Matrix – in which most of the characters wear exclusively mirrored sunglasses.
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