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Glass Diffractive Optical Elements

Photonics.com
Jul 2007
SCHOTT North America Inc.Request Info
 
MAINZ, Germany, July 24, 2007 -- Schott said a new a precision glass molding technique enables, for the first time, high-precision mass production of diffractive optical elements (DOEs) from optical glass.

DOEs could previously only be manufactured cost effectively out of plastic, which had drawbacks including high scattering losses and low resistance to temperature, moisture, lasers and chemicals, Schott said. Its glass DOEs schottglass.jpgcan be manufactured in larger quantities using its new manufacturing process -- the same method it has used for years to manufacture large aspherical lenses for sensors, cameras, projectors and micro lenses -- to repeatedly press the contours of the highly precise shaping tool onto glass surfaces,  thousands of times.

"One can hardly imagine modern optical systems of lasers, sensors, lighting and imaging devices without diffractive optics," Schott said in a statement. "These extremely small elements, which diffract the light inside minute spaces and bundle it into beams with exact shapes and direct it in the desired direction, represent the key to miniaturization of optical systems. These elements for serial applications have been manufactured using plastic or fused silica with the help of sophisticated and, therefore, expensive lithography techniques and etching processes."

The new DOEs are made from high-refractive glass and have a diffraction efficiency of up to 95 percent. They exhibit high mechanical, thermal and chemical durability and enable various optical functions to be combined in a single element. They can be produced for use as blazed diffraction gratings, computer generated holograms (CGH) and Fresnel zone lenses.

For more information, visit: us.schott.com; e-mail: info@us.schott.com 

Schott North America Inc.
555 Taxter Rd.
Elmsford, NY 10523
Phone: (914) 831-2200
Fax: (914) 831-2201



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GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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