Optimized Fused Silica used in new Scientific and Astronomical Applications
New scientific and astronomical instruments enable scientists to survey the sky in the ultraviolet and near-infrared spectra as well as smash elementary particle to understand the fundamentals of physics and fuse nuclei to generate energy. The unique optical properties of fused silica, e.g., highest transmission, best homogeneity, and lowest absorption, enable extremely low photon count observations and high-energy laser system. High-performance fused silica glass overcomes light absorption in the range >800 nm that limits the performance of IR spectrographs. Metallic impurities and OH groups embedded in the fused silica matrix are reduced to achieve best operation. Examples of fused silica optimized for HEL, inertial nuclear fusion, directed energy, as well as earth-bound and space-bound astronomical applications in the NIR and UV are discussed.
Wolfgang Schlichting manages US sales of fused silica in science & research optics for Heraeus Conamic. He studied physics at the University of Tübingen and received his M.Sc. degree in Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona in 1993 with research focusing on laser data storage systems, magneto-optical materials, and magnetic circular dichroism. He also holds an MBA degree in Global Business from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. Before joining Heraeus, he managed New Business Development of laser, Faraday and other crystals and optical coatings for Northrop Grumman Synoptics. He also founded the market research & consulting company Wolf Research LLC and worked for IDC, NPD Solarbuzz and Reveo Inc. in the areas of optical data storage, photovoltaics, and cholesteric liquid crystals.