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.