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ZBLAN is a type of glass that is made of a mixture of Zirconium, Barium, Lanthanum, Aluminum, and Sodium Fluorides. ZBLAN was discovered accidentally by Poulain and Lucas in 1975 at The University of Rennes, France. This material's main technological application is as an optical waveguide in planar and fibre form.

Although most of ZBLAN's properties (such as strength, thermal stability and corrosion resistance) are inferior compared to silica, ZBLAN transmits further into the infrared (IR) part of the electromagnetic spectrum and has a higher refractive index than most traditional glass formers. ZBLAN glasses have very poor resistance to attack by water and moisture. However, during melting these glasses 'self-dry'; any hydroxyl (-OH) groups in the glass network react with fluoride species in the glass, volatilising as gaseous hydrofluoric acid (HF).

ZBLANP is a variant which includes phosphorus.


  • Infrared Fiber Optics Review by James Harrington - Rutgers University, NJ, USA
  • Le Verre Fluore (manufacturer)
  • IRphotonics (manufacturer)
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "ZBLAN". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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