Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 1135–1158

Rare-earth chalcogenides — an emerging class of optical materials

  • P. N. Kumta
  • S. H. Risbud

DOI: 10.1007/BF00975057

Cite this article as:
Kumta, P.N. & Risbud, S.H. J Mater Sci (1994) 29: 1135. doi:10.1007/BF00975057


Sulphide compounds belong to the family of chalcogenides and are well known for their optical and electronic properties. They possess good optical properties because of their ability to transmit into the infrared (IR) region. Several sulphide glasses are known to exist which exhibit far infrared transmission and are also useful semiconductors. In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in IR materials to be used on surveillance equipment. This led to the identification of several new crystalline sulphide materials which can transmit very far into the IR region (up to a wavelength of 14 Μm). Crystalline and amorphous rare-earth sulphides emerged as a new class of materials, which possess several unique optical and electronic properties. This paper reviews the status of these rare-earth sulphide amorphous and polycrystalline materials, the techniques used to process these materials and discusses their structure, thermal, mechanical and optical properties. Conventional and emergent novel chemical processing techniques that are used for synthesizing these materials are reviewed in detail. The use of metallorganic precursors and the modification of their chemistry to tailor the composition of the final ceramic are illustrated. The potential of these chemical techniques and their advantages over the conventional solid state techniques used for processing sulphide ceramics is discussed, particularly in light of their successful applications in processing novel electronic and optical oxide ceramics.

Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. N. Kumta
    • 1
  • S. H. Risbud
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Division of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA