23 August 2010 Innovative hybrid optics: combining the thermal stability of glass with low manufacturing cost of polymers
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Abstract
Innovative hybrid glass-polymer optical solutions on a component, module, or system level offer thermal stability of glass with low manufacturing cost of polymers reducing component weight, enhancing the safety and appeal of the products. Narrow choice of polymer materials is compensated by utilizing sophisticated optical surfaces such as refractive, reflective, and diffractive substrates with spherical, aspherical, cylindrical, and freeform prescriptions. Current advancements in polymer technology and injection molding capabilities placed polymer optics in the heart of many high tech devices and applications including Automotive Industry, Defense & Aerospace; Medical/Bio Science; Projection Displays, Sensors, Information Technology, Commercial and Industrial. This paper is about integration of polymer and glass optics for enhanced optical performance with reduced number of components, thermal stability, and low manufacturing cost. The listed advantages are not achievable when polymers or glass optics are used as stand-alone. The author demonstrates that integration of polymer and glass on component or optical system level on one hand offers high resolution and diffraction limited image quality, similar to the glass optics with stable refractive index and stable thermal performance when design is athermalized within the temperature range. On the other hand, the integrated hybrid solution significantly reduces cost, weight, and complexity, just like the polymer optics. The author will describe the design and analyzes process of combining glass and polymer optics for variety of challenging applications such as fast optics with low F/#, wide field of view lenses or systems, free form optics, etc.
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Valentina Doushkina, "Innovative hybrid optics: combining the thermal stability of glass with low manufacturing cost of polymers", Proc. SPIE 7788, Polymer Optics Design, Fabrication, and Materials, 778809 (23 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.860944; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.860944
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