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13 January 1993 Fabrication of pure silica micro-optics by sol-gel process
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Surface feature optics, including binary optics, sinusoidal gratings, and high-fill factor micro- lens arrays, are being intensively developed for use in beam splitting and optical computing. Most are fabricated in plastics, and are therefore subject to such general disadvantages as limited optical transmission and high CTE. Some can be scribed in silica but dimensions are limited and fabrication costs are extremely high. Using a sol-gel process it is possible to fabricate surface feature optics in pure silica by a room-temperature molding technique. This technique provides the advantage of the highly favorable optical qualities of silica, including broadband transmission, low CTE, and exceptional resistance to laser damage. The sol-gel process is a room temperature casting operation in which the glass replicates the surface of the mold. Molds used in the sol-gel process can be fabricated from plastics and epoxies using common injection molding and press forming operations or via more sophisticated techniques. The manufacture of several prototypes is reported in terms of processing and characterization to determine the fidelity of the replication and their ability to fulfill required optical specifications.
© (1993) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jean-Luc R. Nogues and Roy Layne Howell "Fabrication of pure silica micro-optics by sol-gel process", Proc. SPIE 1751, Miniature and Micro-Optics: Fabrication and System Applications II, (13 January 1993);


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