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26 December 1984 Diamond For Optical Material
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Clay Engineering Inc. currently has a proposal before DARPA to manufacture large optical quality diamond for use as optical material. The manufactured diamond will be approximately 100 mm in diameter by 100 mm long. The cost of producing the diamond is expected to be three dollars per carat. It is expected that total impurities of a few parts per billion can readily be obtained. A study of diamond is a study of the effects of impurities. The elements boron and nitrogen can replace carbon atoms in the lattice structure, making diamond a "P" or "N" type semiconductor. Diamonds which are not semiconductors are classified as type IIa. The presence of B or N in the lattice causes diamond to photoconduct in ultraviolet light. All type I and III) and most type IIa diamonds photoconduct. The manufactured diamond will not photoconduct and will have an electrical resistivity greater than 1018 ohm*m. All non-lattice impurities are in the form of inclusions which dramatically affect the mechanical properties of diamond. High purity diamond has a coefficient of absorption of order 10-3 cm-1 at wavelengths of 8 to 12 micro metres, which makes it useful for infrared applications. It also has a low coefficient of absorption at wavelengths greater than 12 micro metres. For missile and aircraft applications, diamond is relatively immune to erosion or pitting damage by sand and rain. Diamond will readily withstand the stagnation temperature of Mach 3 flight and will go to Mach 4.8 with an anti-reflective coating to protect it from oxygen attack. Diamond is highly resistant to thermal shock, which makes it valuable for high energy laser applications. Using R = St (1-)) k/Ea as a measure of thermal shock resistance, diamond is 107 w/m vs "sapphire" and Zerodur at 104 and fused quartz at 1.45x103. Diamond does not perform well in the 2.5-7.5 micro metres and less than 0.4 micro metres wavelengths. Intense beams of less than 0.4 micro metres energy can create color centers in diamond. For laser pulses of such short duration that thermal shock is not a problem, diamond will take less peak power than some competing materials, such as quartz. One could take advantage of the superior strength of diamond and use a thinner slice to obtain equal peak power capacity.
© (1984) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Robert D. Clay and John P. Clay "Diamond For Optical Material", Proc. SPIE 0505, Advances in Optical Materials, (26 December 1984);

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