While the chalcogenides family of glasses is typically more difficult to process than crystalline IR materials, the range of benefits (listed below) often outweigh process issues in optical applications.
- Low weight
- Relatively low overall cost
- Higher transmission across the entire IR spectrum
- Variable fabrication approaches
- High refractive index
Chalcogenides are considered ideal in applications where weight and athermalized substrate materials are factors driving success. Designers are able to achieve more favorable athermal performance, while still maintaining a high degree of flexibility in terms of fabrication techniques. The relatively low change in refractive index to temperatures and an operating temperature range of -40 C to +60 C allows engineers to leverage chalcogenides for a broad spectrum of applications including moldable infrared optics like lenses, optical fibers, lasers, planar optics and integrated circuits among others.