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14 May 2019 Infrared optics innovation enabled by new material and designs
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Infrared vision system uses infrared lens to collect radiation and focus the object onto the detector. Information such as pixel and temperature distribution could be captured and displayed as images. Infrared optics are the “eyes” of the vision system. The need of broadband, compact, low cost are driven by increasing commercial applications such as UAV, autonomous driving and smart phone. This paper presents our latest development in infrared optics design for broadband application and optics manufacturing based on Chalcogenide glasses for potential mass production. New optics design makes a single lens to achieve dual wavelength band (MWIR and LWIR) switchable. The aspheric lens and diffractive optical element (DOE) configuration are investigated to realize the broadband and compact lens design. In LWIR regime, several detector manufacturers have demonstrated both cooled and uncooled technologies with pixel size down to 12μm. It sets new standard for size, weight, power and performance in terms of resolution. Chalcogenide material is gradually taking over Germanium in broad IR regime. It performs especially well in the 8 to 12μm range, because of its lowest absorption and dispersion in LWIR. The low dn/dT of the Chalcogenide makes lens athermalization much simpler by removing required mechanical compensation complexity. The Chalcogenide series of glasses can be processed by molding. As compare to the polished/machined glass lens which take more than 1 hour for each piece, the molding process time will be reduced to 5 mins.
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Xia Yu, Neo Chen, Yana Abiso, Jenny Zhu, and Robert Huang "Infrared optics innovation enabled by new material and designs", Proc. SPIE 10998, Advanced Optics for Imaging Applications: UV through LWIR IV, 109980L (14 May 2019);

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