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Proceedings Paper

Spinel: gaining momentum in optical applications
Author(s): Mark C. L. Patterson; Anthony A. DiGiovanni; Lawrence Fehrenbacher; Don W. Roy
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Paper Abstract

There are presently three materials (sapphire, ALON and spinel) which exhibit a desirable combination of material properties such as hardness, strength, and transmission in MWIR that are considered for various window/dome applications. Of the three, sapphire exists in a number of service applications. It is, however, the most expensive of the three and depending on application, can have significant drawbacks owing to its birefringent nature. ALON, by comparison is less expensive, benefits from greater development efforts, is an easily shaped polycrystalline ceramic, optically does not possess the birefringent nature of sapphire, but requires very high formation temperatures for the starting powders and equally long processing times for fabricated parts. The remaining material, transparent spinel, offers improved optical performance over the spectrum from UV to MWIR, comparable mechanical properties, and can be fabricated at much lower temperatures and shorter times than the other materials making it less expensive to produce. Data will be described which compares the transparency and mechanical properties and discusses the relevant processing efforts for spinel products.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 September 2003
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5078, Window and Dome Technologies VIII, (26 September 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.500971
Show Author Affiliations
Mark C. L. Patterson, Technology Assessment and Transfer, Inc. (United States)
Anthony A. DiGiovanni, Technology Assessment and Transfer, Inc. (United States)
Lawrence Fehrenbacher, Technology Assessment and Transfer, Inc. (United States)
Don W. Roy, Consultant (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5078:
Window and Dome Technologies VIII
Randal W. Tustison, Editor(s)

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