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LWIR, MWIR & SWIR side by side

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Bill W:
Doubt Ge is much good at SWIR, and getting good coatings for MW and LW is tricky.

There is also Calcium Flouride - clear to visible and works at LW.

coppercone2:
that's not a great material for the military but for scientific work it should be OK. I assume its a hydroscopic crystal?

The nice thing is, that is likely a soft and cheap material, however I don't know if its one of those salts that makes HF when it gets wet. Some fluoride salts make HF gas (not F2!) when wet IIRC.

Can these salt crystals be rapidly cut on a lapping plate with diamonds? I guess it depends on MOH scale at this point. Don't know much about machining fused salts... I imagine they are 'crumbly'

CatalinaWOW:

--- Quote from: coppercone2 on November 29, 2021, 11:58:34 pm ---that's not a great material for the military but for scientific work it should be OK. I assume its a hydroscopic crystal?

The nice thing is, that is likely a soft and cheap material, however I don't know if its one of those salts that makes HF when it gets wet. Some fluoride salts make HF gas (not F2!) when wet IIRC.

Can these salt crystals be rapidly cut on a lapping plate with diamonds? I guess it depends on MOH scale at this point. Don't know much about machining fused salts... I imagine they are 'crumbly'

--- End quote ---

If you are willing to deal with the drawbacks of a salt, NaCl is as safe as anything gets and good from 0.2 micron to 15 microns.  NaFl has been used in science instruments (mostly during and just after WWII).  Most places went for other materials as they became available.  The relatively soft material was prone to mechanical damage and keeping humidity low enough to avoid moisture problems was an issue.

While these materials could be fabbed in an amateur lab, I think coatings are a problem even for the pros.  So significant reflection losses and possibilities for ghosting.

Fraser:
ZnS is a broadband material and can even be used in the visible light spectrum. BB AR Coatings might be a challenge though.

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