|Product Name:||Sapphire Glass||Hardness:||H9/HV1800-2200|
|Color:||Clear Transparent||Usage:||Optical, Optical|
domed watch glass,
What is Synthetic Sapphire
In 1902, the French chemist Auguste Verneuil developed a process for producing synthetic sapphire crystals. In the Verneuil process, named after him, fine alumina powder is added to an oxyhydrogen flame, and this is directed downward against a mantle. The alumina in the flame is slowly deposited, creating a teardrop shaped "boule" of sapphire material. Chemical dopants can be added to create artificial versions of the ruby, and all the other natural colors of sapphire, and in addition, other colors never seen in geological samples. Artificial sapphire material is identical to natural sapphire, except it can be made without the flaws that are found in natural stones. The disadvantage of Verneuil process is that the grown crystals have high internal strains. Many methods of manufacturing sapphire today are variations of the Czochralski process, which was invented in 1916 by Polish chemist Jan Czochralski. In this process, a tiny sapphire seed crystal is dipped into a crucible made of the precious metal iridium or molybdenum, containing molten alumina, and then slowly withdrawn upward at a rate of 1 to 100 mm per hour. The alumina crystallizes on the end, creating long carrot-shaped boules of large size up to 200 kg in mass.
Synthetic sapphire is also produced industrially from agglomerated aluminium oxide, sintered and fused (such as by hot isostatic pressing) in an inert atmosphere, yielding a transparent but slightly porous polycrystalline product.
In 2003, the world's production of synthetic sapphire was 250 tons (1.25 × 109 carats), mostly by the United States and Russia. The availability of cheap synthetic sapphire unlocked many industrial uses for this unique material.
The first laser was made with a rod of synthetic ruby. Titanium-sapphire lasers are popular due to their relatively rare capacity to be tuned to various wavelengths in the red and near-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. They can also be easily mode-locked. In these lasers a synthetically produced sapphire crystal with chromium or titanium impurities is irradiated with intense light from a special lamp, or another laser, to create stimulated emission.