Abstract

A state-of-the-art mid-infrared prism coupler was used to study suspected anisotropy in the refractive index of forward-looking-infrared grade chemical vapor deposited (CVD) zinc sulfide. Samples were prepared with columnar grain structure in and perpendicular to the sample plane, as well as from different depths in the CVD growth body. This study was motivated by the growing industry concern among optical design engineers, as well as developers of mid-infrared systems, over the reliability of historically accepted index data. Prior photoluminescence and x-ray diffraction measurements have suggested that refractive index may vary according to sample orientation with respect to the grain structure. Measurements were conducted to provide optical dispersion and thermal index (dn/dT) data at discrete laser wavelengths between 0.633 and 10.591 μm at two temperature set points (30 °C and 90 °C). Refractive index measurements between samples exhibited an average standard deviation comparable to the uncertainty of the prism coupler measurement (0.0004 refractive index units), suggesting that the variation in refractive index as a function of sample orientation and CVD deposition time is negligible and should have no impact on subsequent optical designs. Measured dispersion data at mid-infrared wavelengths were also found to agree well with prior published measurements.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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