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A team led by University of Arizona materials scientist Jeffrey Pyun is using a sulfur-based polymer made from waste generated by fossil fuels to develop consumer-grade infrared (IR) plastic lenses. The team has refined this material, which it first used in 2014, to create its second generation of IR lenses.
The new polymers are stronger and more temperature-resistant than the first-generation sulfur plastic developed in 2014, which was transparent to mid-IR wavelengths. The new lenses are transparent to a wider spectral window, extending into the longwave IR, and are far less expensive than the current industry standard of metal-based lenses made of germanium, a heavy, rare, and toxic material.
To strengthen the material…READ MORE