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Optical Engineering

Athermalization of polymer radial gradient-index singlets
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Paper Abstract

The article explores the possibility of athermalizing a gradient-index (GRIN) lens so that the effective focal length (EFL) of the element remains constant over a change in temperature. This is accomplished by designing the lens so that the surface curvatures and index profile compensate for one another over a change in temperature to maintain constant optical power. The means to determine how the lens geometry and index profile change with temperature for both a homogeneous and radial GRIN are explained. An analytic model for the purpose of identifying athermalized GRIN singlets is described and validated against the previous work in this field. The model is used to identify an athermalized polymer radial GRIN element and compare it with four other polymer elements of the same focal length but different index profiles, including a homogeneous one. Comparison of these singlets in CODE V® optical design software shows that the athermalized GRIN element maintains its nominal EFL over a temperature change the best of the five in the group while the homogeneous element (having no GRIN profile to counteract the effect of temperature on the surface curvatures) has the poorest performance. A numerical model to analyze more complicated GRIN systems is discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 July 2013
PDF: 7 pages
Opt. Eng. 52(11) 112104 doi: 10.1117/1.OE.52.11.112104
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 52, Issue 11
Show Author Affiliations
James A. Corsetti, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
Leo R. Gardner, BAE Systems (United States)
Greg R. Schmidt, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
Duncan T. Moore, Univ. of Rochester (United States)

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