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  • A Jewel of a Boule Displayed
Apr 2009
ORLANDO, Fla., April 14, 2009 -- Today at the SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, attendees can visit Booth 337 and see what Rubicon Technology of Franklin Park, Ill. considers the world's largest sapphire crystal.

Rubicon Technology's 441-lb bulk sapphire super boule, on display at the SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing Conference in Orlando. (Photo: Lynn Savage)

The company grows bulk sapphire crystals that weigh about 187 lbs for wafers of up to 8 in. But stepping that up, the super boule weighs in at 441 lbs and will be used for wafers of up to 12 in.

Sapphire substrates are used in high-brightness LEDs, radio frequency integrated circuits and in military applications including windows for unmanned aerial vehicles and submarines as well as for transparent armor. Using large sapphires makes possible large-size windows and wafers in C-plane and other orientations as well as optical parts in varying thicknesses.

The giant sapphire was grown using the company's proprietary ES2 crystal growth technology. The company intends to keep scaling up to produce even larger size crystals in the future.

For more information, visit:

Anne L. Fischer, Photonics Spectra senior editor

A solid with a structure that exhibits a basically symmetrical and geometrical arrangement. A crystal may already possess this structure, or it may acquire it through mechanical means. More than 50 chemical substances are important to the optical industry in crystal form. Large single crystals often are used because of their transparency in different spectral regions. However, as some single crystals are very brittle and liable to split under strain, attempts have been made to grind them very...
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