Optical Domes

June 21, 2024

At Avantier, we possess the expertise to produce custom optical domes solutions in a wide variety of substrates and sizes. Whether you require enhanced durability for high-pressure environments or precise optical quality, our team can design and manufacture the perfect optical dome tailored to your specific application.

Optical domes, also known as hemispheric optical windows, play a crucial role in transmitting light while providing a protective boundary between two systems or environments. These specialized optical components are commonly used to safeguard fragile optical systems in demanding applications. For instance, in aerospace engineering, they protect LIDAR optical sensors from the impact of fast-moving objects.

Types of Optical Domes Solutions

In defense applications, infrared optical domes play a crucial role, with sapphire emerging as a favored material alongside diamond. Sapphire, renowned for its exceptional hardness—second only to diamond—is highly resistant to scratching and abrasion. It is also capable of withstanding high pressure, and transmits eighty percent of light between the 2-5µm wavelength range.

Alternatives to sapphire for infrared domes include zinc selenide, germanium, calcium fluorite, zinc sulfide, and silicon. Among these, silicon stands out for its primary transmission capabilities within the 3-5μm range, coupled with its low density and high thermal conductivity. Moreover, it is the most cost-effective option among the listed infrared materials.

The choice of substrate will determine whether a particular optical dome is suitable for visible, ultraviolet, or infrared optical applications. Here we’ll look at a few popular choices.

To learn more about the available products or to order, visit Avantier’s website.

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