Proceedings PaperPredesign of diamond-turned refractive/diffractive elements for IR objectives
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Diffractive lenses have arrived. Literally hundreds of papers have been published1-25 and technology impact reports have been written about the exciting addition of a new tool for the lens designer.1 Sophisticated computer programs have been developed to aid in the optimization of these diffractive phase profiles for a wide variety of applications. Now, several fabrication methods are being pursued to produce these diffractive elements economically. The best known process is the etching of a multi-level relief grating, known as binary optics.2 This process uses sets of computer generated lithographic masks. Another, more recently developed method is Dry Photopolymer Embossing (DPE).3 This replication process uses master holograms. And now, diamond turning is being applied for the machining of these elements.4,5 Diamond turning is especially well suited for infrared optics. As any process has advantages and limitations, so has diamond turning. These advantages and limitations are discussed and general guidelines are presented to aid the designer and systems engineer in the project predesign stage.