A novel composition of germanosilicate glass, created by adding zinc oxide, has properties that could be valuable for lens applications. The new family of zinc germanosilicate glass was invented by a research group at The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). Samples of the glass demonstrated a high refractive index, comparable to that of pure germania glass. The samples also showed high transparency, good UV-shielding properties, and good glass-forming ability, making them suitable for lens applications.
By finding the optimum balance between zinc oxide and other components, the researchers were able to achieve a high refractive index in their glass while avoiding crystallization. “The motivation for the study was the need for new glass compositions that have a high refractive index while still being processable at an industrial scale,” said professor John Mauro. Researcher Ye Luo said that its high refractive index makes the new glass suitable for designing low-thickness lenses.