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16 February 2010 Precision glass molding: an integrative approach for the production of high precision micro-optics
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Miniaturization and integration are the dominating factors for the success of numerous optical devices. Conventional manufacturing processes for the fabrication of precise glass optics by means of grinding and polishing cannot cope the increasing demands in terms of precision, volume and costs. Here, precision glass molding is the enabling technology to meet these demands of the future optical products and applications. Since the market requests further miniaturization and integration of the micro optical components the possession of the entire sequence of processes is absolutely essential. With the accomplished and ongoing developments at the Fraunhofer IPT, the replication of double-sided (a)spherical and (a)cylindrical glass lenses with form accuracies of < 150 nm as well as lens arrays and even freeform optics could be realized. Therefore, a sequence of processes needs to be passed. The FEM-simulation of the molding process which was driven to a point capable to simulate even the molding of freeform optics is the first process step. Further on, new mold design concepts were generated to enable the replication of free formed optics. The research works focusing on the mold manufacturing led to sophisticated grinding process strategies able to realized complex mold geometries such as lens arrays. With regard to the coating of the molds, proceedings were developed assuring a defect free and uniform coating which enables the longevity of the molds and therewith helps reducing the final costs per lens. Thus, the precision glass molding becomes more and more interesting even for highly complex mid volume lots, characteristic for European or US optics manufacturer.
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Martin Hünten, Fritz Klocke, and Olaf Dambon "Precision glass molding: an integrative approach for the production of high precision micro-optics", Proc. SPIE 7591, Advanced Fabrication Technologies for Micro/Nano Optics and Photonics III, 75910X (16 February 2010);


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