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Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) Optical Material

Gallium arsenide is a non-glass, inorganic optical material. It has a fairly high thermal conductivity among the non-glass optical ceramics in the database. The graph bars on the material properties cards below compare gallium arsenide to other non-glass optical ceramics (top) and the entire database (bottom). A full bar means this is the highest value in the relevant set. A half-full bar means it's 50% of the highest, and so on.

Mechanical Properties

Elastic (Young's, Tensile) Modulus

85 GPa 12 x 106 psi

Knoop Hardness


Poisson's Ratio


Thermal Properties

Melting Onset (Solidus)

1400 °C 2550 °F

Specific Heat Capacity

360 J/kg-K 0.085 BTU/lb-°F

Thermal Conductivity

47 W/m-K 27 BTU/h-ft-°F

Thermal Expansion

5.6 µm/m-K

Otherwise Unclassified Properties


5.3 g/cm3 330 lb/ft3

Light Transmission Range

1.0 to 16 µm

Refractive Index


Common Calculations

Stiffness to Weight: Axial

8.9 points

Stiffness to Weight: Bending

28 points

Thermal Diffusivity

25 mm2/s

Followup Questions

Further Reading

Handbook of Optical Materials, Marvin J. Weber, 2003

Handbook of Optical Constants of Solids, Edward D. Palik (editor), 1998