Optical Materials for IR Applications

Optical Materials for IR Applications

For most IR applications in the wavelength range from 780 - 3600 nm synthetic fused silica is the material of choice.

The optical performance is mostly influenced by the purity and the OH content of the material. Metallic impurities as well as OH-molecular vibrational or rotational excitations lead to light absorption in the material. As consequence transmission decreases, the material heats up and in IR laser material processing for example an unintented focus shift of the final lens can be observed. Heraeus Quarzglas provides fused silica materials with lowest absorption for all IR laser applications.

Beam path in a retro reflector / Challenges: Backreflection in the same direction.
Beam path in a retro reflector / Challenges: Backreflection in the same direction.

Prisms, lenses and beam splitters are typically the most critical optical elements. The quality of these components contribute significantly to the performance of the entire optical system, since they influence the imaging performance by altering the optical path. In such optical elements the light path is not just in one direction, and therefore it is important that there is no optical distortion in any propagation direction. This makes an isotropic optical material with a homogenous refractive index distribution necessary. Heraeus Quarzglas has a unique process to provide real 3D materials with outstanding optical properties.
More information on 3D materials

Recommended Materials:
We recommend the following materials for their 3D homogeneity (indicated by +, ++, +++). To help with the selection, we indicate additional information. Never the less, feel free to contact our experts.

  • Suprasil® 3001 (OH < 1ppm, lowest absorption, 3D:++)
  • Suprasil® 3301 (OH < 20ppm, highest VUV transmission, 3D:+++)
  • Suprasil® 311 (OH < 250ppm, 3D:+++)
  • Infrasil® 301 (natural fused quartz, OH < 8ppm, 3D:++)
Fused silica ingot
Typical window out of fused silica

Optical components like windows, filters, polarizers or light guides require the light to pass through the functional direction with minimized distortions. Optics (mostly plano-plano) out of fused silica have an excellent homogeneity and can be used for a wide range of applications - not just as a transmissive window in harsh environments, also as base material for optical filters and polarizers.


Recommended Materials:
We recommend the following materials for their homogeneity in functional direction (indicated by +, ++, +++). To help with the selection, we indicate additional information. Never the less, feel free to contact our experts.

  • Suprasil® 3002 (OH < 1ppm, lowest absorption, homogeneity:++) Data Sheet
  • Suprasil® 3302 (OH < 20ppm, highest VUV transmission, homogeneity:+++)
  • Suprasil® 312 (OH < 250ppm, homogeneity:+++)
  • Infrasil® 302 (natural fused quartz, OH < 8ppm, homogeneity:++) Data Sheet

Mirrors, Wafers, Debris Shields and Substrates all rely on either the surface, or a very thin layer of material. Optical homogeneity is not the prime focus for these applications. Optical parameters like excellent transmission, very good coefficient of thermal expansion and other mechanical, thermal and chemical properties might be more important.

Recommended Materials:

  • Suprasil® 300 (OH < 1ppm, lowest absorption)
  • Suprasil® 313 (OH < 250ppm, good homogeneity) Data Sheet
  • HOQ® 310 (natural fused quartz, OH < 30ppm)
Fused silica lens and blank
Customer tailored optical components

Todays optical components are by far no standard optics anymore. Driven by the complexity of the applications in industry and science, specifications are much tighter, dimensions can be very imaginative, and sizes can go up to 1,5m. Heraeus Quarzglas was involved in a lot of projects, where a customer tailored optical component was required. Our long term R&D expertise enables us to support you in every unusual, special optics request.

Please contact us directly to discuss you problem and find a solution.

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