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Used as insecticide and fungicide.
Calomel, Hg2Cl2, (mercurous chloride), banned in 1960’s, used as a cathartic and as a teething powder, relatively non-absorbable - but often contaminated with more toxic HgCl2 (mercuric chloride) or mercury bichloride. Usage resulted in acrodynia (painful swelling of fingers) erythema, fever and lymphadenopathy. It was used as purgative in the form of "blue pills".
CALOMEL single crystals exhibit a wide range of optical transmission, high indexes of refraction, extremely high values for acoustooptic figures of merit, low velocity of elastic wave propagation (sound), and a high value of birefringence (four times higher than calcite). Because birefringence is positive, the ordinary light beam can be used as the functional beam resulting in a higher quality beam than is possible when using the extraordinary beam. As shown in Table I., the outstanding physical properties of this material make CALOMEL an important discovery.
In addition, CALOMEL is a very suitable material for high-power laser requirements due to its high optical load resistance (Table II)
CALOMEL has many advantageous properties for applications in microwave systems. All physical properties - optical, elasto-optic, mechanical, dielectric, etc.) - exhibit outstanding anisotropy.
A SHORT LIST OF APPLICATIONS OF CALOMEL CRYSTALS
Used in: optics (e.g., spectroscopy, polarimetry, defectoscopy, astronomy, platography, material research, laser applications, light modulation, agricultural production, electric power generation, environmental control devices, molecular biology, biotechnology), microwave applications and various industrial processes.
Polarized light is a carrier of valuable information. Magnetic fields, chemical interactions, molecular structures, quality variations, mechanical stress all impose changes on the polarized state of an optical beam. In order to assess the value of any one polarizer, it is necessary to assess each type of polarizer as follows:
- optical transmission range
- degree of light polarization
- angular field of view
- reflection and absorption (light losses)
- stability with powerful laser beams
- polarization of IR- and UV-light either separately or with visible light or other combinations
- angle of splitting of the ordinary and extraordinary rays
- size and cost
Until recently, calcite was the only suitable material for the construction of polarizers in the visible and near infra-red spectral regions. In order to operate in the infra-red and far-infrared region, grid polarizers and specially designed thin film plate polarizers were required. CALOMEL is the only known material which can polarize light continuously from the visible to far infra-red regions. Therefore, one polarizer of CALOMEL can replace minimally two or more polarizers depending on the wavelength of the light beam (Tables I and III). In commercial applications CALOMEL crystals should enable manufacturers to produce more powerful, smaller and lighter devices at a reduced cost.
Due to the relatively low optical damage (occurring at powers higher than 50 MW/cm2) CALOMEL polarizers can be used in combination with high power lasers for laser processing (drilling, cutting, annealing, etc.). Unlike calcite polarizers which operate at low to medium power levels and film plate polarizers which have to be specially designed for each high power laser at every wavelength, CALOMEL has the flexibility to work across-the-board from low to high power. Generally, CALOMEL can be used in infra-red polarization optics i.e., photography, spectroscopy, environmental control devices and other applications.
OTHER POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS:
Microwave, radar, television, signal processing, spectral analysis, robotics, Bragg Deflectors, birefringent filters of Lyot-Type, filters for environmental control, beam splitters, etc.
QUARTER WAVE PLATES
Due to extreme birefringence in the microwave region, quarter wave plates can be produced which convert the linearly polarized microwave signal into a signal polarized circularly. The advantage of using CALOMEL in microwave communication systems, for example, direct broadcasting from satellites, is that CALOMEL eliminates the requirement of a polarization switch and thereby reduces the number of moving parts.
CALOMEL Glan-Taylor polarizer (type GTP1-225)
CALOMEL, as a medium for delay of acoustic waves offers the longest possible time window (up to l50 µsec) of any known material. Such a slow shear acoustic wave can significantly reduce the size of generally used delay lines. Such a property makes CALOMEL ideal for signal processing - correlation, convolution and filtering, noise reduction, etc.
ACOUSTO-OPTIC SIGNAL PROCESSORS
CALOMEL is extremely suitable for the construction of acousto-optic devices. In comparison, CALOMEL's figure of merit (TABLE I) is comparable with tellurium dioxide TeO2and more than one order better than lead molybdenate PbMoO4. The simplest application for CALOMEL would be as an integral light beam modulator. Because of the high value of the figure of merit, M2, the required power consumption is low and diffraction efficiency is high. It follows that due to the low value of shear wave velocity, dimensions can be reduced and the modulation bandwidth is slightly reduced.The transparency of CALOMEL (0.38 to 20 µm) enables the use of these modulators in a broad spectral range (compared with TeO2). The high value of optical damage in the infrared region could be efficiently exploited in industrial laser beam manufacturing (drilling, annealing, etc.). In addition, these properties are valuable in laser surgery, because CALOMEL has a broad band of transparency and is thereby suitable as a visible light beam for infra-red beam pointing. A more sophisticated acousto-optic application would be a spatial light beam modulator - optical processor. This acousto-optic unit is used to convert an electric signal into an optical image which can be processed by optical data processing techniques.
Due to a very slow shear acoustic wave, high resolution (about 5000 pts) and a large time window (about 150 µs) can be achieved. These parameters are excellent comparable to TeO2 and the time window is superior. This type of acousto-optic unit is used for optical spectrum analyzers, Kalman filters, convolvers, correlators, matrix multipliers, etc. Because of high speed parallel optical processing these systems are used in aircraft, space and military applications where real time processing of large amounts of data is fundamental.
The applications listed above are not a complete list. They are only examples. Each application can have many modifications (for example a broad variety of polarizers). Quite new possibilities can be found in CALOMEL homologues (Hg2Br2, Hg2I2) and mixed crystals (Hg2ClBr, Hg2BrI etc.). These single crystals are now in development. The production of CALOMEL on an industrial scale makes it possible to take advantage of CALOMEL's excellent properties and those of its homologues.