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Custom Magnesium Fluoride

Magnesium Fluoride Transparent Lenses

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Knight Optical supplies high quality magnesium fluoride components, including magnesium fluoride windows, lenses and prisms, made to your custom specification.

Magnesium Fluoride (MgF2) is a colourless and durable crystalline material grown by vacuum Stockbarger technique. Whilst magnesium fluoride does transmit into the MWIR region, its transmission is inferior compared to calcium fluoride and barium fluoride, therefore its main applications fall into the VUV and UV regions.

It exhibits many beneficial properties including:

  • Naturally birefringent
  • Resistant to mechanical shock
  • Low absorption
  • Chemically stable
  • Resistant to water
  • Resistant to thermal shock

We can offer uncoated and coated optics, including broadband antireflective (BBAR) coatings. Discover more about our capabilities and the range of coatings available, including BBAR coatings for your custom optics here.

Our typical manufacturing specifications are listed below however we are always expanding our capabilities so if your requirements are not mentioned below, please contact our technical sales team who will guide you through your enquiry.

Magnesium Fluoride Transparent Lenses

Speak to our experts about your Custom Magnesium Fluoride needs today

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    Optical Properties of Magnesium Fluoride

    With our in-house state-of-the-art metrology laboratory you can be confident that your optical components will meet specification, and you can request a full metrology report. You can find out more about our testing facilities here.

    Transmission Range0.12 to 7µm
    Refractive Index1.413 @ 0.22µm
    Density3.18 g/cm3
    Melting Point1255°C
    HardnessKnoop 415
    Diameter< 5mm to 50mm +
    Form error (@633nm)< 0.25 waves
    Centration/parallelism< 1 arc minute
    Scratch/dig< 40/20
    Typical coatingsBBAR @ 1-7µm, DLC @ 1-7µm
    Graph to depict the optical properties of Magnesium, uncoated 1mm thick

    Uncoated, 1mm thick

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Magnesium fluoride (MgF2) is a crystalline material prized in optical engineering for its outstanding optical properties, including a wide transmission range, from the deep ultraviolet (UV) to the infrared (IR) spectrum. Magnesium fluoride’s properties boast a high resistance to thermal and mechanical shock, making it ideal for demanding environments. Its low refractive index and durability also contribute to its widespread use in coatings for lenses and windows, enhancing their performance and longevity.

    Magnesium fluoride lenses and windows are integral components in various optical systems, offering excellent clarity and high transmission rates, especially in the UV spectrum. These properties make them suitable for applications in astronomy, microscopy, and UV photography, where precise light transmission and minimal distortion are crucial. The use of MgF2 in these components ensures optimal performance and image quality.

    A magnesium fluoride coating on optical components, such as lenses and windows, significantly enhances their efficiency and durability. This coating minimises reflections, allowing more light to pass through, which is essential for achieving high-quality images and signals in optical systems. Additionally, magnesium fluoride’s uses protect against scratching and environmental damage, extending the lifespan of the optical components.

    Magnesium fluoride is widely used across several industries due to its exceptional optical and physical properties. Beyond its application in optical components like lenses and windows, MgF2 is used in the manufacturing of mirrors, prisms, and beam splitters. Its UV transmission capabilities make it valuable in telecommunications, space telescopes, and UV spectroscopy, highlighting its versatility and importance in both scientific and industrial applications.

    The magnesium fluoride refractive index is notably low, which is significant in optical design for reducing light refraction and minimising chromatic aberration in lenses and optical systems. This property is essential for creating high-precision optical components that require clear and accurate imaging across a broad spectrum of light, from UV to visible wavelengths. The specific refractive index values of MgF2 enable designers to optimise the performance of optical instruments.

    Magnesium fluoride stands out among optical materials for its excellent transmission in the UV spectrum, resistance to mechanical and thermal shock, and durability. Compared to other materials, MgF2 offers a unique combination of low refractive index and high transmission, making it ideal for specialised applications requiring minimal light distortion and high clarity, such as astronomical telescopes and UV imaging systems. Its performance and application breadth underscore its critical role in advanced optical technologies

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    Additional Information

    High Durability

    Magnesium fluoride is the hardest of the fluoride materials used in optical components, and so is often used where durability is desired, especially when used in harsh conditions.

    Multiple Ways of Cutting

    It can be cut in different orientations to produce either minimal or maximum birefringence, dependent on the application it is intended for.

    Typical Applications

    Magnesium Fluoride Birefringence for Rochon Polarisers

    Rochon Polariser

    Magnesium fluoride exhibits slight birefringence and therefore is often the substrate used in Rochon polarisers, which is made from two birefringent prisms. Other substrates such as calcite or crystalline quartz are also used.

    Retarder plates

    Retarder plates

    Due to magnesium fluoride’s birefringence, it is also used as the substrate for retarder plates, such as quarter-wave plates.

    Standard, IR grade, calcium fluoride would perform best in thermal imaging and FLIR applications.

    Magnesium Fluoride for Excimer Lasers

    Excimer Lasers

    Magnesium fluoride transmits into the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV), it is durable and creates minimal aberrations. For excimer applications, magnesium fluoride would be cut in such a way to produce minimal birefringence. It is often the substrate used for excimer laser mirrors along with calcium fluoride.

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    With our in-house state-of-the-art metrology laboratory you can be confident that your optical components will meet your requirements. You can find out more about our testing facilities here.

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