n2 Explorer: BeAl2O4 (Beryllium aluminate, chrysoberyl)
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Conditions & Spec sheet
Beryllium aluminate, BeAl2O4BeAl2O4, commonly known as chrysoberyl, is a beryllium-aluminum oxide mineral that is noteworthy for its excellent hardness and durability. In the field of optics, chrysoberyl is used mainly as a gemstone and is not often encountered in technical applications due to its high cost and relative scarcity. However, its natural form, known as "cat's eye," is a unique gemstone admired for its chatoyancy. While not commonly utilized in high-technology optical applications, the properties of chrysoberyl, such as its excellent thermal stability and high hardness, could theoretically make it valuable in extreme environments where other materials may fail. The crystal structure of BeAl2O4 contributes to its remarkable hardness, which is second only to diamond among naturally occurring materials. Overall, while not a mainstream choice for technical optics, chrysoberyl remains an intriguing material whose unique characteristics could inspire future research and applications in specialized optical contexts.
- Beryllium aluminum oxide
- Alexandrite (usually Cr3+:BeAl2O4)