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Optical Material Selection Guide

Alfa Chemistry is a specialist provider of solutions for optical applications. We provide our customers with an extensive guide to the selection of optical materials.

UV and IR Optical Materials

Alfa Chemistry offers a wide range of high-quality custom optics made from a variety of crystalline materials. Our crystalline materials cover the entire spectral range from the UV to the far IR, with a wide range of materials to choose from. The following is a partial catalog of our materials.

  • Sapphire (Al2O3): Sapphire is a very useful optical window material for ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared light. It has extremely high toughness and strength.
  • Barium Fluoride (BaF2): BaF2 is usually suitable for applications in the passive infrared band (8~14 μm) and is commonly used as a viewport window for thermal imaging.
  • Calcium Fluoride (CaF2): CaF2 has a wide range of infrared applications as spectral CaF2 windows, CaF2 prisms and CaF2 lenses.
  • Germanium: Germanium is a high refractive index material used to make attenuated total reflection (ATR) prisms. It is also widely used as a substrate for the production of filters.
  • Lithium Fluoride (LiF): LiF has the highest UV transmittance of all materials and is used in special UV optics.
  • Magnesium Fluoride (MgF2): MgF2 is mainly used in UV optics and is well suited for excimer laser applications.
  • Silicon: Optical grade silicon typically has a resistivity of 10 to 40 Ohm-cm, higher than most semiconductor applications.
  • Zinc Selenide (ZnSe): ZnSe is widely used in infrared components, windows and lenses, and spectral ATR prisms. It is one of the materials of choice for CO2 laser optics.
  • Potassium Bromide (KBr): KBr is a material commonly used in FTIR spectroscopy. KBr is used in windows, lenses and prisms when transmission through the 0.25-26µm range is required.
  • Potassium Chloride (KCl): Mainly used in CO2 laser protection windows, KCl is an inexpensive low-refractive-index disposable material.
  • Sodium Chloride (NaCl): NaCl is used for windows, wedges, and prisms that require transmission in the 0.25~16 µm range.

UV and IR Optical Materials

Optical Substrate Materials

Alfa Chemistry has a variety of substrate materials to choose from. Below is a partial catalog of our materials.

MaterialsOptical TransmissionCoatingsRefractive Index
N-BK7 Glass350nm~2200nm. High transmittance in the visible and near-infrared range.Common metal coatings such as enhanced aluminum, protective silver and gold coatings when used as mirror substrates.1.517 (at 587.76nm)
UV Fused Silica200nm~2200nm. High transmittance from UV to NIR range.When used as mirror substrates, common coatings are broadband dielectric coatings and metallic coatings.1.458 (at 587.76nm)
Chalcogenide Glass3μm-14 μm.Common coating configurations are 3-5 micro or 8-12 micro AR coatings.2.4944 (at 10000nm)
BaF2200nm~11000nm. In the interval from 500nm to 9000nm, the transmission rate is above 90%. 1.468 (at 1064nm)
ZnSFLIR Grade ZnS: 1000nm~13000nm
Multispectral ZnS: 370nm~13500nm
 FLIR Grade ZnS: 2.192 (at 10000nm)
Multispectral ZnS: 2.20084 (at 10000nm)
Silicon (Si)1200nm-7000nm. 3.423 (at 4580nm)

Optical Substrate Materials

Click on the links below to learn more about material properties.

For more information on how Alfa Chemistry can help you with your optical needs, please contact our dedicated sales team.

Please kindly note that our products and services are for research use only.