Infrared Optics

Infrared optical systems are designed to work in the infrared (IR) region of the spectrum, that is, wavelengths that are longer than visible light, typically ranging from around 700 nanometers to one millimeter.

Infrared (IR) optics are critical in industries such as defense, where they are used in thermal imaging systems to detect and track objects based on their heat signatures. In medical imaging, IR optics help create images based on the thermal radiation emitted by tissues in the human body.

Lattice Materials specializes in manufacturing infrared optical lenses, windows, and mirrors. We use high-purity, in-house custom-grown silicon and germanium to produce IR optics. Silicon is commonly used in the near-infrared (NIR) and mid-wave infrared range (MWIR), while germanium is used in both the mid-wave infrared range (MWIR) and long-wave infrared range (LWIR).

There are many technical challenges in manufacturing infrared optics, such as maintaining high optical quality over a wide range of temperatures, minimizing unwanted reflections, and reducing the absorption of infrared radiation.

Built to Spec

At Lattice Materials, we build infrared optical components to customized specifications using carefully controlled manufacturing processes:

  1. First, we collect and review information on customers’ specifications to ensure IR components are produced properly. Based on these specifications, we custom-grow silicon or germanium substrates to ensure accurate performance in the requested wavelength range. Silicon is best for the near-infrared (NIR) and mid-wave infrared range (MWIR), while germanium is an ideal option for the mid-wave infrared range (MWIR) and long-wave infrared range (LWIR).
  2. We then shape the optical material using specialized equipment and techniques. We produce custom shapes according to your requirements.
  3. After shaping, we spherically generate and polish your infrared optics.
  4. If required, Lattice Materials will provide AR (anti-reflection coatings) and DLC (diamond-like carbon) coatings.

Building infrared optical components to spec requires the highest level of precision and expertise, as even minor variations in the manufacturing process can significantly impact the final product’s performance.

At Lattice Materials, we follow rigorous manufacturing processes to produce infrared optical components that consistently deliver high-quality optical performance.

Made-to-Order Shaping

At Lattice Materials, we manufacture IR materials for optical systems and devices such as:

  • Thermal imaging cameras
  • Thermal imaging lenses
  • Laser optics
  • Zoom lenses
  • Aspheric lenses
  • Night vision cameras
  • Specialized metrology equipment.

Meeting such diverse and individual requirements of various applications requires custom design and made-to-order shaping of IR materials.

We use specialized equipment and advanced techniques to produce custom optics with different geometries, such as flats, rounds, and other shapes that cater to specific needs.

  • Flats are optical elements with two parallel and polished surfaces, typically used for windows, mirrors, or beam splitters.
  • Rounds refer to optical components with a circular shape, such as infrared lenses or filters with specific curvature, diameters, and thicknesses.
  • We also manufacture custom shapes, including aspheres, cylinders, prisms, domes, or other intricate geometries required for specific optical systems.

Custom shaping involves techniques such as precision grinding, polishing, diamond turning, or other advanced machining processes. We ensure the accuracy and quality of the final shape, meeting stringent tolerances and optical specifications.

Whether it’s optical design of thermal imaging systems, spectroscopy devices, or photonic solutions, our custom shaping capabilities enable better IR performance optimization.

Silicon and Germanium
Mono or Polycrystalline
Round or Rectangular Shapes up to 17.5″ (450 mm)

Polished to optical specifications better than 20/10 scratch/dig, 1/10th wave flatness and down to 10 Å RMS

Custom thin film coatings (AR, DLC and others) are also available

*All specifications are dependent on part geometry.


Do you have a custom requirement for silicon and germanium infrared optics? Send us your specifications, and our engineering and sales teams will connect with you to discuss your project details.

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