The refractive indices of several AlxGa1-xN alloys deposited on silicon are determined by ellipsometry and reflectivity experiments at room temperature. The AlGaN layers are grown on (111)Si substrate by molecular-beam epitaxy on top of an AlN/GaN/AlN buffer in order to reduce the strain of the alloy. The Al composition is deduced from energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy and photoluminescence experiments. The refractive index n and the extinction coefficient k are determined in the 300–600 nm range. For the transparent region of AlxGa1-xN, the refractive index is given in form of a Sellmeier law. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.