Tooling for chalcogenide glasses are not bound by these restrictions since the molding temperatures required are much lower than for oxide glasses. Innovations in tooling materials and manufacturing techniques have enabled the production of complex geometries to optical quality specifications and have demonstrated the viability of creating tools for molding diffractive surfaces, off axis features, datums, and arrays. Applications for optics having these features are found in automotive, defense, security, medical, and industrial domains.
This paper will discuss results achieved in the study of various molding techniques for the formation of positive diffractive features on a concave spherical surface molded from As2Se3 chalcogenide glass. Examples and results of molding with tools having CTE match with the glass and non CTE match will be reviewed. The formation of stress within the glass during molding will be discussed, and methods of stress management will also be demonstrated and discussed. Results of process development methods and production of good diffractive surfaces will be shown.