Because of its optical properties, diamond is beginning to find uses in optical components, particularly as a free-standing plate for use as an infrared window in harsh environments. Conventional infrared materials (such as zinc sulphide, zinc selenide, and germanium), suffer the disadvantage of being brittle and easily damaged. Diamond, with its high transparency, durability and resistance to thermal shock, is an ideal material for such applications. An example of an optical quality diamond window can be seen in Figure 5.6(b).

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