A novel germanosilicate glass composition created by adding zinc oxide has properties that could be useful for lens applications. A research group invented the new zinc germanosilicate glass family. The glass samples had a high refractive index, comparable to pure germania glass. The samples also demonstrated good transparency, UV-shielding properties, and glass-forming ability, making them suitable for lens applications.
The researchers achieved a high refractive index in their glass while avoiding crystallization by finding the optimal balance of zinc oxide and other components. The need for new processable glass compositions with a high refractive index led to the study. Because of its high refractive index, the new glass is suitable for designing low-thickness lenses.
In the study samples, zinc oxide exhibited UV-shielding properties. According to the researchers, it is possible to use zinc-oxide-containing glass with UV shielding for everyday applications such as car windows and eyeglasses. The glass samples also demonstrated good forming properties. The new compositions can be formed over a wider temperature range as a “long glass,” making them easier to manipulate during formation. This property, along with the lower cost of zinc oxide compared to germania, could make the new glass composition a viable option for mass production.