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Transparent Ceramics: Enabling Large, Durable, Multifunctional Optics

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Aluminum oxynitride and magnesium aluminate spinel are mechanically strong, hard and scratch resistant; they are also chemically durable. Both exhibit broadband transmittance from near-UV to mid-IR.

Mohan Ramisetty, Lee Goldman, Nagendra Nag, Sreeram Balasubramanian and Suri Sastri, Surmet Corp.

Single-crystal sapphire has been the material of choice for defense and other applications that require extremely durable optics, but aluminum oxynitride (ALON) and magnesium aluminate (spinel) have emerged for use when those applications need optics in large sizes or with complex geometries. Table 1 lists the key physical properties of each material. Both have cubic spinel crystal structures that make them transparent in their polycrystalline form, which means they can be produced using conventional ceramic powder processing techniques. Powder processing allows them to be produced in...Read full article

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