Materials for Optical Systems
Any optical system, of necessity, consists of many components, often fabricated from and joined by a variety of materials. The choice of materials depends on the system performance requirements and many other factors including size, weight, mechanical loading, environment, number of systems required, and, of course, cost. This chapter provides both a discussion of the importance of various properties and figures of merit, and a listing of many of them. Typical application requirements for the various classes of materials are given along with brief discussions of selection methods and cost comparisons. A discussion of dimensional stability is deferred to Chapters 4 and 10.