Coat Zinc Selenide Particles with Functional Thin Films for IR Optics

Technology #11644

Key Points

  • Fabrication method to coat zinc selenide (ZnSe) particles with atomically thin functional film
  • Helps prevent loss in IR transparency during the high-temperature melting process
  • Can provide resulting composite media with added functionality such as optical transparency, better mechanical strength, and the ability to be molded into various form factors

Abstract

The University of Central Florida invention is a processing technique to coat ZnSe (an IR transparent material) particles with an atomically thin functional film. For fabricating optical components such as optical fibers, a high-temperature melting process is used in which the base matrix and the ZnSe powder are mixed and heated past the melting point of the matrix. This important step results in the formation of a composite (that is, a homogeneous mixture of two or more materials at fixed volume fractions) in which the ZnSe phase is intimately mixed in the glass matrix. The challenge in this melting process is that ZnSe can dissolve in the glass matrix resulting in a loss in IR transparency of the fabricated optical component. This technique prevents the dissolution of ZnSe powder during the high temperature melting process.