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A Jewel of a Boule Displayed

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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 superboule, on display at the SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing Conference in Orlando. (Photo: Lynn Savage)

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

Sapphire substrates are used in high-brightness LEDs, radio-frequency integrated circuits and military applications, including transparent armor, and windows for unmanned aerial vehicles and submarines. 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
Apr 2009
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...
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
crystaldefenselight sourcesNews & FeaturesphotonicsRubicon TechnologysapphireSecurity and Sensing ConferenceSPIE Defensesubmarinestransparent armorunmanned aerial vehiclesLEDs

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