The aluminum oxynitride phase known as ALON is prepared as a ceramic with promising physical and
optical properties for infrared transparent domes and windows. It was first reported in the late nineteen fifties. James
McCauley of the Army Materials and Mechanics Research Center (AMMRC) began work in the nineteen seventies that
led to a firm foundation for understanding the phase diagram of AlN-Al2O3, which in turn led to the first transparent
ceramic ALON samples. Technology transfer from the AMMRC to Raytheon Corporation resulted in further
development of the material, which was qualified for missile dome applications. In the nineteen nineties a renaissance in
interest in ALON occurred when ALON composites were shown to have superior qualities as transparent armor.
The first decade of the twenty first century has seen Surmet Corporation acquire ALON optical ceramic technology
from Raytheon Company and transition the research and development technology to production.