Germanium Optics

Infrared Material_Ge

Why Germanium for IR Optics

Germanium (Ge) single crystal is a chemically inert material and has been a very commonly used material for producing windows and lenses for IR optics applications in laser and optical systems. As it has a transmission spectrum ranging from 2 to 12 µm, boasting the characteristics of high hardness, good thermal conductivity, and insoluble in water.
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Optical Properties of Germanium

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Advantages of Germanium(Ge) in MWIR

It has better transmittance in the mid-infrared and its higher refractive index can slow down the speed of light. its third-order nonlinear effect is greater, which is conducive to optical signal amplification or self-focusing, and its free carrier effect is stronger.

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Advantages of Germanium(Ge) in LWIR

It has good transmittance in the wavelength range of 8-12 microns and has a small absorption coefficient. In addition, germanium has a high refractive index and low dispersion and can be used as positive and negative elements in achromatic doublets.

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Low Scatter to Increase Signal-to-Noise Ratio

With a very low scattering rate, they are affected by very little scattering when light passes through. Therefore, the use of germanium reduces signal loss and increases signal-to-noise ratio in optical systems.

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Good Mechanical Strength

Germanium has very high mechanical strength, which allows them to be used in the manufacture of precision optical components and withstand repeated use without being susceptible to damage.

What NONI Can Offer with Germanium Optics

We are capable of handling different processing accuracy, including commercial grade, precision grade, and high precision. Higher precision requirements can also be tailored for you according to application needs.

And we offer the most possibilities of sizes and shapes in the industry, and sizes and shapes can be customized as required like circles, rectangles, triangles, or other special shapes, including plano-convex, plano-concave, double-convex, double-concave, and meniscus and more.

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Custom Germanium Lenses and Windows

Germanium is an exceptional choice for optical lenses in high-efficiency infrared imaging systems within the 2-12μm range. Its outstanding features include a high refractive index (approximately 4.0 in the 2-14μm wavelength band), minimal surface curvature, and low chromatic aberration. In fact, these remarkable properties typically do not require correction even in low-power imaging systems. It’s fascinating to note that over 60% of lens elements in mid-to-low-end infrared optical lenses are made of germanium single-crystal material.

Due to its wide transmission range and high refractive index, germanium windows are commonly used for making wide-angle lenses and microscopes, as well as serving as front optical components in thermal imaging. Ge windows are widely used in infrared applications, such as defense, aerospace, life sciences, medical sciences, industrial OEM, etc. NONI offers 3 types of germanium windows: uncoated, AR double-sided coating, and AR/DLC coating. In addition, you also have custom options to meet your specific requirements.

  • Custom Optics germanium lens
  • Custom IR Optics Germanium Windows
  • Custom IR Optics Germanium Prisms
  • Custom Infrared Optics Germanium Plano Convex Lens
  • Custom IR Optics Germanium Aspherical Lens
  • Ge ZnSe ball lenses | Noni Custom Optics

Custom Germanium Optics of Higher Accuracy

At Noni, our capabilities to offer higher accuracy which seems challenging to others are not just our pride but also a key factor that sets us apart from our competitors.

Specifications for Ge Lenses

 

PARAMETERS RANGES
Diameter range 10 to 400 mm
Diameter tolerance ± 0.01 mm
Center thickness 1 to 50 mm
CT tolerance ± 0.02
Surface irregularity (P-V) ≤ 0.5 fringes
RMS Irregularity – RMSi -D ≤ 12.6 nm
Surface roughness – Ra ≤ 2.5 nm

Specifications for Ge Windows & Mirrors

 

PARAMETERS RANGES
Diameter range 10 to 400 mm
Length/Width 150 x 150 mm
Central Thickness (CT) < 50 mm
CT tolerance ± 0.01 mm
Parallelism ≤ 30 arc seconds
Sagita deviation – A (Power) 0.5 fringes
Irregularity – B (PV) 0.25/0.068 (fringes/µm)
Digs 2 x 0.03 mm
Scratches L2 x 0.02 mm
MIL – Scratch / Dig 80 – 50 to 20-10
Surface roughness – Rq ≤ 2 nm

Our Manufacturing Capability of Germanium Opticals

Combining the superior optical properties of germanium with our outstanding capabilities of custom optics, NONI offers quality germanium optics of higher accuracy and consistent performance.  Our germanium infrared optical lenses and protective infrared optical windows of the lenses are widely used in infrared imaging systems and infrared spectrometer systems.

Germanium Lens for Thermal Camera

Germanium Lens for Thermal Camera

With a broader band of 1-16um, which completely covered the working band of mid-to-far infrared filters that are used to make infrared temperature measurement instruments and thermal cameras, germanium thermal lenses, and germanium infrared lenses are widely used in the infrared imaging field.

Germanium Optics for Night Vision

Germanium Optics for Night Vision

As germanium crystal has high transmittance to infrared light, it is very suitable as the front panel window and infrared filter of night vision devices. By controlling thickness and refractive index, Ge infrared filter can effectively reduce interference signals and improve the imaging quality of night vision devices.

Germanium Lens for Infrared Detector

Germanium Lens for Infrared Detector

For optical properties of germanium like high refractive index & transmittance, excellent thermal conductivity & low thermal expansion coefficient, Ge Lens can focus infrared light onto the detector to enhance signal strength and resolution, and reduce thermal influence and improve detector's sensitivity and stability.

Germanium Optics for Aerospace

Germanium Optics for Aerospace

With thermal stability and radiation resistance to suit optical transmission systems in high temperature and high radiation, and high refractive index and dispersion performance to deliver excellent optical performance, Germanium optics are widely used in optical imaging, laser communication, infrared detection, and other fields in aerospace.

Germanium Optics for Military

Germanium Optics for Military

Germanium optics are mainly used in infrared imaging systems, infrared seekers, infrared tracking systems, and reconnaissance and surveillance systems that are equipped on tanks, ships, aircraft, and more.  At the same time, in some cases, germanium can also be used to manufacture laser guides to achieve higher precision guidance.

Application Examples of Germanium Opticals

In the past decades, NONI has supplied quality Germanium optics to support various infrared thermal imaging technology applications in both military and civil life.

Germanium Optics for Military

Germanium Optics for Military

Germanium optical components are widely used in the field of national defense, including thermal imagers and night vision devices, light detectors, infrared detectors, early warning and guidance of missiles, laser and infrared radar, etc. Infrared thermal imaging technology, which uses germanium lenses, has revolutionized modern warfare by enabling all-weather and night-time combat.

We all see the rising demand for germanium optical components in various weapons and equipment in the national defense field. These germanium lenses and windows are widely used in high-end military vehicles, ships, and aircraft, as well as individual infrared equipment like gun sights, helmets, and handheld devices.

Germanium Optics for Civil Life

Germanium Optics for Civil Life

The success of infrared thermal imaging technology in the military has made it gradually popular in the civilian market and has been widely used in preventive detection, process control, fire protection, security and night vision, and other fields. It is expected that in the future, with the further reduction of manufacturing costs and continuous technological innovation, the market for civilian thermal imaging cameras will have even greater room for growth.

As a key component of infrared thermal imaging devices, germanium optical components have excellent optical properties and can achieve high-sensitivity and high-resolution thermal imaging. Therefore, with the development of infrared thermal imaging technology and the increase in market demand, the demand for germanium optical components will continue to increase.

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FAQ, Frequently Asked Questions

Some important information you might want to know.

  • Do you offer standard optic components (Shelf Products) ?
    No, we don’t sell shelf products. We offer customization service according to your requirements for specific projects or brands equivalent.
  • What substrates do you use for custom optical components?
    Our most frequently used substrates are Zinc Selenide (ZnSe), Zinc Sulfide (ZnS), Silicon, Germanium (Ge), Copper, Aluminum, Mo, PMMA, Chalcogenide Glasses, etc.
  • Can you help to customize according to samples we offered?
    We highly recommend producing according to specific drawings. Since there are lots of indexes which can not be obtained by measuring samples, such as requirements of material.
  • What's your MOQ for customized projects?
    We set very low MOQ for customization projects. But of course, price will be quoted according to the quantity to cover our production cost.
  • How to protect my personal information and our technical information?
    Don’t worry, we will sign the NDA with all our customers if needed.
  • What shipping methods are available?
    We commonly use UPS, FedEx, DHL, TNT, SF, EMS etc. We also accept your own appointed forwarder.
  • What's the lead time for sampling, for mass production?
    For customization projects, sampling lead time will be 1 to 2 weeks. For mass production, 1 to 2 months for orders with quantity 1000 to 2000 pieces.
  • Can you offer all the Certificates required by our customs and our company?
    Every product that leaves the factory has been carefully tested. We would like to offer you all the certificates required by your side. Such as:
    • Raw material certificate and technical drawing
    • RoHS Report of substrate
    • Inspection report (data) of 3D optical profiler, surface flatness etc.
    All products delivered by us will be carefully cleaned and packaged.

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Get A Fast Custom Quote

*Your privacy will be 100% confidential at Noni.