Our Name

Periodic Table:

Columns II and VI of the Periodic Table of ElementsII-VI Infrared. The name is synonymous with the world’s greatest CO2 laser optics and infrared optical materials. But what, exactly, does the name mean?

The Roman numerals “II-VI” refer to Column II and Column VI of the Periodic Table of Elements. By chemically combining elements from Column II and Column VI, we produce the infrared optical crystalline compounds cadmium telluride (CdTe), zinc selenide (ZnSe), zinc sulfide (ZnS), and zinc sulfide MultiSpectral (ZnS MS). These compounds, and others created from Column II and Column VI elements, are commonly referred to as “II-VI materials.” When we were founded in 1971 to create CdTe, company co-founder Dr. Carl J. Johnson paid homage to our II-VI materials heritage and called our new company “II-VI Incorporated.” In the ensuing years, as our infrared material and optics manufacturing capabilities expanded into precision diamond-turning and world-class thin-film coatings, our corporation grew as well. Through strategic acquisitions, II-VI Incorporated expanded far beyond infrared optical materials and finished optics products, building a portfolio of companies that share in our materials heritage yet bring a vastly diversified range of products to market, including thermoelectric coolers, and silicon carbide substrates. (See Our History for more information.) In recognizing that “II-VI Incorporated” represents far more today than when originally founded, we recently christened our core optical materials and finished optics business unit “II-VI Infrared.” This differentiates it from the corporate whole, and reflects upon our 42-year heritage of producing the world’s finest infrared and CO2 laser optics.