From Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2016
Isothermal precision glass molding of imaging optics is the key technology for mass production of precise optical elements. Especially for numerous consumer applications (e.g. digital cameras, smart phones, …), high precision glass molding is applied for the manufacturing of aspherical lenses. The usage of diffractive optical elements (DOEs) can help to further reduce the number of lenses in the optical systems which will lead to a reduced weight of hand-held optical devices. But today the application of molded glass DOEs is limited due to the technological challenges in structuring the mold surfaces. Depending on the application submicrometer structures are required on the mold surface. Furthermore these structures have to be replicated very precisely to the glass lens surface. Especially the micro structuring of hard and brittle mold materials such as Tungsten Carbide is very difficult and not established. Thus a multitude of innovative approaches using diffractive optical elements cannot be realized. Aixtooling has investigated in different mold materials and different suitable machining technologies for the micro- and sub-micrometer structuring of mold surfaces. The focus of the work lays on ultra-precision grinding to generate the diffractive pattern on the mold surfaces. This paper presents the latest achievements in diffractive structuring of Tungsten Carbide mold surfaces by ultra-precision grinding.
Guido Pongs, Bernd Bresseler, Klaus Schweizer, and Thomas Bergs, "Challenges in mold manufacturing for high precision molded diffractive optical elements," Proc. SPIE 9949, Polymer Optics and Molded Glass Optics: Design, Fabrication, and Materials 2016, 994905 (Presented at SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications: August 29, 2016; Published: 27 September 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2236909.
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