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PICTURES Calcium Fluoride Lenses

Quartz - SiO2

Optical quartz is a high-purity form of quartz (SiO2) that is commonly used as a material for optical components. It is a colorless and transparent crystalline solid that has a hexagonal crystal structure.

Optical quartz is highly transparent in the ultraviolet (UV), visible, and infrared (IR) regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, making it ideal for use in a wide range of optical applications. It has a wide transmission range, from about 170 nm to 2000 nm. It is also highly refractive and birefringent, which makes it useful in the construction of lenses, prisms, and other optical components.

One of the unique properties of optical quartz is its ability to rotate the plane of polarization of light, a phenomenon known as optical activity. This property makes it useful in the construction of optical isolators, which are used to prevent feedback in laser systems.

Optical quartz is also highly resistant to thermal shock and chemical attack, which makes it ideal for use in harsh environments. It is often used in the construction of windows and lenses for industrial and scientific applications.

However, optical quartz can be difficult to work with due to its hardness and brittleness. It requires specialized techniques for cutting, grinding, and polishing to achieve the desired optical properties. Additionally, it is sensitive to high temperatures and can undergo a phase transition known as alpha-beta transformation at around 573 °C, which can affect its optical properties.

In summary, optical quartz (SiO2) is a highly transparent and refractive material that is widely used in various optical applications. Its optical activity, resistance to thermal shock and chemical attack, and wide transmission range make it valuable in many optical systems. However, its hardness and brittleness require specialized techniques for processing, and its sensitivity to high temperatures must be taken into account in certain applications.

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Quartz Windows

Physical Properties

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