Germanium is commonly used for optical components in the infrared, but the high refractive index of germanium causes significant losses due to Fresnel reflections. Anti-reflection (AR) surfaces based on subwavelength “moth’s eye” gratings provide one means to significantly increase optical transmission. As found in nature, these gratings are conformal to the curved surfaces of lenslets in the eye of the moth. Engineered optical systems inspired by biological examples offer possibilities for increased performance and system miniaturization, but also introduce significant challenges to both design and fabrication. In this paper, we consider the design and fabrication of conformal moth’s eye AR structures on germanium freeform optical surfaces, including lens arrays and Alvarez lenses. Fabrication approaches and limitations based on both lithography and multi-axis diamond machining are considered. Rigorous simulations of grating performance and approaches for simulation of conformal, multi-scale optical systems are discussed.
We present experimental results from variable output refractive beam shapers based on freeform optical surfaces. Two freeform elements in close proximity comprise a beam shaper that maps a circular Gaussian input to a circular ‘flat-top’ output. Different lateral relative shifts between the elements result in a varying output diameter while maintaining the uniform irradiance distribution. We fabricated the beam shaping elements in PMMA using multi-axis milling on a Moore Nanotech 350FG diamond machining center and tested with a 632.8 nm Gaussian input. Initial optical testing confirmed both the predicted beam shaping and variable functionality, but with poor output uniformity. The effects of surface finish on optical performance were investigated using LightTrans VirtualLab<sup>TM</sup> to perform physical optics simulations of the milled freeform surfaces. These simulations provided an optimization path for determining machining parameters to improve the output uniformity of the beam shaping elements. A second variable beam shaper based on a super-Gaussian output was designed and fabricated using the newly determined machining parameters. Experimental test results from the second beam shaper showed outputs with significantly higher quality, but also suggest additional areas of study for further improvements in uniformity.
In this work we construct coherent superpositions of Gaussian and vortex modes which can be described to occupy the complex-plane. We demonstrate how these fields can be experimentally constructed in a digital, controllable manner with a spatial light modulator. Once these fields have been generated we illustrate, with three separate techniques, how the constituent components of these fields can be extracted, namely by measuring the intensity of the field at two adjacent points; performing a modal decomposition and a new digital Stokes measurement.