Rutile is a mineral composed primarily of titanium dioxide (TiO2), and is the most common natural form of TiO2. Other rarer polymorphs of TiO2 are known, including anatase , and brookite.
Rutile has one of the highest refractive indices at visible wavelengths of any known crystal and also exhibits a particularly large birefringence and high dispersion. Owing to these properties, it is useful for the manufacture of certain optical elements, especially polarization wavelengths up to about 4.5 μm.
Natural rutile may contain up to 10% iron and significant amounts of niobium. Rutile derives its name from the Latin rutilus, red, in reference to the deep red color observed in some specimens when viewed by transmitted light. Rutile was first described in 1803 by Abraham Gottlob Werner.