Table V. Chemical properties of transmissive optical materials
Symbol Solubility 
in H2O
Sodium chloride NaCl 26.5 Water, glycols, high humidity inexpensive
Potassium chloride KCl 25.8 Water, alcohols, ether, wet solvents inexpensive
Potassium bromide KBr 39.5 Water, alcohols, ether, humidity  
Cesium bromide CsBr 55.4 Water, alcohols, humidity  
Cesium iodide CsI 61.5 Water, alcohols, any humidity  
Lithium fluoride LiF 0.27 Water, HF  
Magnesium fluoride MgF2 0.0076 Concd acids  rugged
Calcium fluoride CaF2 0.0015 Ammonium ion, some concd acids fairly tough
Strontium fluoride SrF2 0.012 Ammonium ion, hot HCl  
Barium fluoride BaF2 0.16 Ammonium ion, acids   
Silver chloride AgCl 0.00014 Oxidizers, chelators, concd chloride attacks base metals, UV darkens
Silver bromide AgBr 0.00001 Oxidizers, chelators, concd chloride attacks base metals, UV darkens
Thallium bromochloride KRS-6 0.3 Methanol, chelators, strong bases  dust very toxic
Thallium bromoiodide KRS-5 0.05 Methanol, chelators, strong bases  dust very toxic
Magnesium oxide MgO 0.00062 Concd acids, ammonium ion   
Sapphire a Al2O3 i Concd acids & bases inert
Crystal quartz a SiO2 i HF, some hot concd bases inert
Zirconia ZrO2 i HF, H2SO4 fairly inert
Zinc sulfide ZnS 0.00069 Strong oxidizers, some acids dust allergenic
Zinc selenide ZnSe <0.001 Acids, strong concd bases dust allergenic
Cadmium sulfide CdS 0.00013 Acids dust toxic
Cadmium selenide CdSe i Acids dust toxic
Cadmium telluride CdTe i Oxidizers, some acids dust toxic
Diamond C i K2Cr2O7 + concd H2SO4 expensive, very inert
Silicon Si i HF + HNO3 inexpensive, very inert
Germanium Ge i Hot H2SO4, aq. reg. some interaction with redox agents
Gallium arsenide GaAs i Acids, strong oxidizers dust toxic
Silica glasses vSiO2 i HF, strong bases  inert
Borosilicate glasses BSCG i HF, strong bases inert
Fluorozirconate glass HMFG >1. Water, high humidity  
Arsenic trisulfide glass As2S3 0.00005 Alcohols, bases dust toxic
AMTIR-1 glass AMTIR i Bases dust toxic
GASIR1 glass GASIR1 i Bases dust toxic
GASIR2 glass GASIR2 i Bases dust toxic
Poly-ethylene HDPE i Hot organics, oxidizing acids  inexpensive
Poly-methylpentene TPX i Chlorinated aromatics inexpensive
Polyester PET i Halohydrocarbons inexpensive
Poly-tetrafluoroethylene PTFE i None toxic fumes at high temperatures
Fluorinated EPC FEPC i None toxic fumes at high temperatures
Materials containing poisonous elements (e.g., Tl, As, Cd, Se) can be handled safely, but dust from grinding or polishing is very hazardous.Chemical incompatibilities often become worse at elevated temperatures; the noted incompatibilities represent interactions at modest temperatures
These data were collected from a variety of sources, so this table probably contains errors. Use cautiously, and empirically verify critical values.
©2002 by D.W.Vidrine  « Author will not accept responsibility for any harm resulting from the use of this data! »
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