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26 December 1984 The Need For Better Optical Materials
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Abstract
Significant improvements in optical materials have been made in the past 15 years: infrared transmitting windows such as KC1 or ZnSe having absorption coefficients two to three orders of magnitude lower than that previously achievable, infrared transmitting fibers with losses as low as 10 dB/km, inexpensive wide-band antireflective surfaces with reflectance coefficients as low as 0.001, sapphire-like mechanical and thermal properties in a cubic and, hence, nonbirefringent crystal structure called ALON, large hot-pressed spinel structures with good transparency, the list goes on and on. Why then do we still insist on better optical materials? The reasons are as varied as is modern technology, and many of the applications are in quite unrelated fields. Let me outline here just a few of the reasons which I am particularly acquainted with. I speak from a Department of Defense background. Many of the drivers for technology development and a significant amount of the development money (although, unfortunately, usually not enough to cover all that needs to be done) comes from defense-related efforts. What are some of these drivers, and to what directions do they point for additional development?
© (1984) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
H. E. Bennett "The Need For Better Optical Materials", Proc. SPIE 0505, Advances in Optical Materials, (26 December 1984); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.964615
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