Silicon can be used as a vacuum window material, it has good optical properties in the mid-IR range which is useful for many imaging, biomedical and military applications. The material has high thermal conductivity and low density, making it suitable for laser windows. There is, however, an absorption band at 9 µm, which means it is not suitable for use with CO2 lasers.
Another advantage of silicon is that it is opaque to wavelengths in the visible range, therefore it can be used to filter out the visible range when working in the mid-IR.
The viewport in the photograph was recently manufactured for one of Torr’s customers. It features a 32 mm clear view diameter and has a maximum bake‑out temperature of 120°C.
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