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Infrared Filters Market Report

The market for infrared (IR) filters has sharply increased over recent years and demand is expected to double over the next five.  To support this rise, Materion is boosting our production capacity in Westford, MA.  The expanded capability will also address the customer’s need for high precision/repeatable spectral performance at low cost. 

Infrared Filters and Gas Sensing

Infrared gas sensing is based on the given fact that gas molecules absorb IR radiation.  Each gas has a unique “fingerprint” which occurs at a specific wavelength in the electromagnetic spectrum.  Some common gas fingerprints are represented in Figure 1.  Hydrocarbons have a unique fingerprint at 3.3 microns, while CO2 has a unique fingerprint at 4.26 microns.  To isolate specific gases for different applications, a narrow band pass filter is used to capture the target gas while blocking out all other wavelengths. Thus, the sensor will not see any other gases. 

Common Gas Fingerprints

Applications for IR Filters

As noted in the previous paragraph, the ability for gas molecules to absorb IR radiation makes a broad range of applications possible.  Some of these currently supported by Materion include:

  > Flame Detection   > Gas Detection (Methane, CO, CO2, etc.  
  >  Anesthetic Gas Monitoring   > Sleep Apnea (Capnography)  
  >  Alcohol Monitoring (Breathalyzer)   >  Motion Sensors  
  >  Non-Contact Temperature Measurement   >  People Counting  


The Materion Filter Advantage

For over 25 years, we have been a key supplier of precision optical filters for the IR detection and sensing market.   We manufacture filters to meet the most challenging applications spanning the entire IR wavelength region.  Our product offerings are tailored to meet specific customer requirements and pass all standard testing required per MIL-C-48497A.  This includes our precision narrow band (NB) filters, which feature ultra steep slopes, high transmission, and excellent surface quality. They deliver unprecedented band shape repeatability from lot-to-lot, which is a key contributor to our customers’ end product stability. 

For further information on Materion’s IR filters, please contact Bill Christopoulos, Director of Commercial Business at