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Proceedings Paper

Design, fabrication, and metrology of polymer gradient-index lenses for high-performance eyepieces
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Paper Abstract

High-performance eyepiece designs have been carried out using both spherical and radial gradient-index (GRIN) elements. Eyepiece designs of both geometries are shown to offer superior imaging performance with fewer elements when compared to purely homogeneous systems. These GRIN lenses are formed from monomer diffusion between polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and polystyrene (PSTY) during the polymerization process, resulting in a copolymer of the two homogeneous materials. A process for fabricating spherical GRIN elements is discussed where copolymer axial GRIN blanks are thermally compressed using spherical surface molds. This process curves the nominally-straight isoindicial surfaces of the axial GRIN rod to be consistent with the shape found during optimization of the design. Once compressed, the spherical blanks are diamond-turned for final surface figure and finish. Measurement of the GRIN profile is carried out using the Schmidt immersion technique in a Mach-Zehnder interferometer. Tolerances specific to GRIN elements are identified and determined to be readily achievable using the aforementioned manufacturing process.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 September 2013
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8841, Current Developments in Lens Design and Optical Engineering XIV, 88411G (28 September 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2041791
Show Author Affiliations
James A. Corsetti, The Institute of Optics, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
Anthony J. Visconti, The Institute of Optics, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
Kejia Fang, The Institute of Optics, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
Peter McCarthy, The Institute of Optics, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
Greg R. Schmidt, The Institute of Optics, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
Duncan T. Moore, The Institute of Optics, Univ. of Rochester (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8841:
Current Developments in Lens Design and Optical Engineering XIV
R. Barry Johnson; Virendra N. Mahajan; Simon Thibault, Editor(s)

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