Unique Advancements Make Single-Point Diamond Turning of IR Optics Possible

Posted by The RPO Team on Sep 3, 2017 8:47:00 AM

Material costs and prototyping limitations have presented challenges to manufacturers trying to work with advanced optical designs. As the demand for IR optics rapidly increased in recent years, it drove material costs higher and put a strain on supplies. These changes caused a shift in material selection for thermal applications. Germanium has long been the traditional choice for IR system development, but the search for cost-effective, high-performing alternatives has led to advancements using chalcogenide glasses.

Beyond material cost, chalcogenides in IR systems present several benefits:

  • Strong moldability
  • Larger volume capabilities
  • Greater cost savings
  • Higher performance
  • Design flexibilitywider range of wavelengths

In working with chalcogenide glasses, RPO's engineers and materials scientists have created more powerful optical designs and flexible production methods. By advancing diamond turning capabilities with chalcogenides, RPO has also expanded prototyping possibilities for IR optics. Further detailed in our rapid prototyping white paper, single-point diamond turning offers several advantages, including fast turnaround and lower unit costs.

The toxicity of chalcogenide materials complicates the prototyping and fabrication processes. RPO's significant investment in cleanroom manufacturing facilities allows for production of single-point diamond turned prototypes.

RPO continues to find ways to meet the increasing demand for IR optics through advancements in precision manufacturing. Our materials field guide details the considerations for choosing thermal materials and outlines the simple process RPO's engineers created to help you choose the best option.

Download the guide:

Download Field Guide

Topics: Chalcogenides, Rapid Prototyping