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Zinc Selenide (ZnSe)

Zinc selenide is a clear yellow polycrystalline material with a grain size of approximately 70m, transmitting in the range 0.5-15m. It is essentially free of extrinsic impurity absorptions, providing extremely low bulk losses from scatter. The main identifiable extrinsic bulk absorption is zinc hydride, whose free diatomic molecule has a vibrational mode at 1608cm-1. Having a very low absorption of energy makes it useful for optical components in high power laser window and multispectral applications, providing good imaging characteristics. ZnSe is also useful in high resolution thermal imaging systems, where it is used to correct for color distortion which is often inherent in other lenses used in the system. An observed electronic absorption edge at approximately 0.476m ( 2.6eV) at 300K and far infrared multi-phonon absorption edge commencing at approximately 22.2m.

Main properties:

Application fields

IR optics; scintillator; substrates; modulators


5.264 g/cm3


105 kg/mm2

Flexural Strength (4pt bending)

7,500 psi

Youngs Modulus

10.2 Mpsi

Poisson Ratio


Coef. of Thermal Expansion


Specific Heat

0.339 J/gK

Thermal conductivity

0.16 W/cmK

Dielectric Constant


Max. Transmittance (l =2.5-15 mm)

70.5 %

Absorption Coef. (l =10.6 mm)

(1-2)10-3 cm-1 (including 2 surfaces)

Damage threshold (l =10.6 mm)

100 kWt/cm2

Thermo-Optic Coef. (dn/dT)

6.1 ( l =10.6 mm)

Refractive index (l =10.6 mm)


Electrooptical coefficient (l =10.6 mm)

R41=2.210-12 m/V

g-radiation tolerance dose

> 1010 J/kg


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