When it comes to precision and homogeneity, ZERODUR® low thermal expansion glass-ceramic is the material of choice for a wide variety of high-tech applications. From performing vital roles in navigation systems to improving the performance of microchips, ZERODUR® continually evolves with each challenge.
The ELT (Extremely Large Telescope) observatory on the Cerro Armazones mountain in Chile

Taking astronomy to the next level

ZERODUR® is used for telescope mirror substrates in monolithic and segmented telescopes. As well as low thermal expansion (any fluctuation in temperature due to environmental changes would obfuscate telescope images), the easy machinability and polishing properties of ZERODUR® make it ideal for adaptive optics. This is why it was used to produce the 40 m segmented primary mirror in the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) in Chile.

Satellite orbiting a red planet

Out of this world

Space applications such as astronomy and earth observation require light and strong materials. ZERODUR® light-weighted mirror substrates withstand strong forces during satellite launch and already orbit our home planet as part of satellites such as Hubble and Chandra. Furthermore, its radiation-resistance and SCHOTT's ability to predict its breakage make ZERODUR® perfect for longtime space missions.

Precision probe sensor on industrial metalworking equipment

Supporting engineering masterpieces

Extremely precise measurement and analysis of distances and geometrical shapes is an application for which the resistance to temperature fluctuations of ZERODUR®  is optimally suited in different industrial manufacturing processes. Scales and gauges manufactured from ZERODUR enable precise measurements of smallest distances in encoders for linear length measurements up to several meters, e.g. for correctly positioning axes within CNC milling machines and coordinate-measurement equipment. Robots for automation and manufacturing can reliably be positioned with the help of rotary encoders allowing precise measurement of the angle within the robot joint.

Interior of an aircraft cabin with illuminated controls and displays

Better navigation in the air

Special laser cavities, mirror blanks and tiny prisms made from ZERODUR® are part of ring laser gyroscope (RLG), which are at the heart of the inertial navigation systems used in aircraft. These customized components enable a highly precise reference system thanks to their robustness, long lifetime and low gas permeability.

Blue circuit board with microchips

Precision on the nano scale

Miniaturization in integrated circuit (IC) systems requires very precise lithography and wafer positioning, which ZERODUR®‘s very low thermal expansion is ideally suited for. Additionally, the lithographical optics to create high resolution pixel patterns for OLED and LCD displays make use of this attribute.

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