I was wondering if there is a transparent material that can endure temperatures up to 2000 °C without deforming or degrading. This material doesn't have to be glass, it can be plastic or a weirdly transparent alloy.

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    $\begingroup$ The 1978 Pioneer Venus probe had sapphire windows (and a diamond window) with melting points above that temperature. $\endgroup$
    – Karsten
    Commented Aug 26, 2022 at 10:51

1 Answer 1


Although it was a plot point in a fictional movie, ... there is now such a thing as 'transparent aluminium' - Aluminium oxynitride. More exactly, it is an aluminium ceramic composed of Al, O, and N in some proportions.

Looks like it has a melting point of ~2150 °C - so fits the temperature range.

edit: As various commenters have pointed out, sapphire (aluminium oxide) would also do, as might the suggestions from this answer:


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    $\begingroup$ At 95% of melt I would not bet it doesn’t deform easily… $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Aug 26, 2022 at 13:10
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    $\begingroup$ The patent for it was issued before the movie came out, so I would guess they based it on science rather than imagination. $\endgroup$
    – Karsten
    Commented Aug 26, 2022 at 13:32
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    $\begingroup$ More commonly available would be sapphire which is pure aluminium oxide and melts just above 2000 C. It is also a very tough material. Its used in the lab for its excellent optical quality and ability to withstand v. high pressures. $\endgroup$
    – porphyrin
    Commented Aug 26, 2022 at 14:41
  • $\begingroup$ Magnesium oxide, MgO, melts at 2800C Possibly could be built up by vapor deposition. IS there an actual application $\endgroup$
    – jimchmst
    Commented Aug 26, 2022 at 18:04

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