Sapphire is used for its extreme toughness and strength. Sapphire is a very useful optical window material for use in the UV, visible, and near infra-red.
Barium Fluoride is used in spectroscopic components. Barium Fluoride is often suitable for applications in the passive IR band (8 to 14μm) and is often used as a viewport window for thermography. For an equivalent thickness the transmission extends approximately 1 micron further into the IR than Calcium Fluoride. The highest quality Barium Fluoride also has application as the fastest known scintillator material and is used in High Energy Physics Experiments.
Ball lenses belong to a special form of biconvex lenses which have the geometry of a ball(sphere). They are manufactured from a single material, usually an optical glass with good transparency in the wavelength region of interest. The typical applications of ball lenses include focusing light in the field of fibers(e.g. laser to fiber coupling ,fiber to fiber coupling), emitters and detectors.Half-Ball lenses are variants of ball lenses, they are ideal for for more compact designs.
Beta-Barium Borate ( BBO) crystal is an excellent electro-optic crystal for high power applications at the wavelength range from 200nm to 2,500nm. It could be used as the EO Q-switching crystals, Beta BBO crystals or beta barium borate crystals exhibit significant advantages over other materials in terms of laser power handling abilities,high damage threshold temperature stability, and substantial freedom from piezoelectric ringing.
Calcium Fluoride has widespread IR application as spectroscopic CaF2 windows, CaF2 prisms and CaF2 lenses. Especially pure grades of Calcium Fluoride (CaF2) find useful application in the UV and as UV Excimer laser windows. Calcium Fluoride (CaF2) is available doped with Europium as a gamma-ray scintillator.
Germanium is a high index material that is used to manufacture Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR) prisms for spectroscopy. Its refractive index is such that Germanium makes an effective natural 50% beamsplitter without the need for coatings. Germanium is also used extensively as a substrate for production of optical filters. Germanium covers the whole of the 8-14 micron thermal band and is used in lens systems for thermal imaging. Germanium can be AR coated with Diamond producing an extremely tough front optic.
Lithium fluoride is the material with the most extreme UV transmission of all and is used for special UV optics. Lithium fluoride transmits well into the VUV region at the hydrogen Lyman-alpha line (121nm) and beyond. Lithium fluoride is also used for X-ray monochromator plates where its lattice spacing makes it the most useful analysis crystal.
Magnesium Fluoride transmits well into the VUV region to the hydrogen Lyman-alpha line (121nm) and beyond. Magnesium Fluoride is used mostly for UV optics and is excellent for Excimer laser applications.
Magnesium Oxide can be used for high temperature windows and substrates. HTSC substrates.
N-BK7 is a Schott designation for the most common Borosilicate Crown glass used for a wide variety of visible applications. The basic data here is given for N-BK7. Full optical design data on N-BK7 and other glasses can be found by following the web links at the bottom of this page.