Provided is an oriented polymeric sheet comprising a photochromic-dichroic material, wherein the sheet exhibits dichroism in an activated state. Also provided is a multilayer composite comprising at least a support layer and a support layer; and an oriented thermoplastic polymeric sheet having two opposing surfaces and comprising a photochromic-dichroic material. The sheet exhibits dichroism in an activated state. At least one surface of the sheet is connected to at least a portion of the support layer. The present invention also relates to an optical element comprising the multilayer composite. Research methods are also disclosed.