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Proceedings Paper

Optical design with inhomogeneous glass: the future is here
Author(s): Robert H. Dueck; Jeffrey L. Vaughn; Boyd V. Hunter
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Paper Abstract

For many years optical designers have been intuitively aware of the value and potential that an inhomogeneous refractive index distribution can bring to the manufacture of precision optical instruments. Even so, designers have been cautious when considering lens designs with inhomogeneous glass, partly because of design difficulties, but mostly because of the need for controlled and reliable materials. In this paper we demonstrate the feasibility of graded index lenses by addressing the index control requirements that are needed for a diffraction limited lens. We chose for our analysis a rather stressing case: an F/1.5 plano-convex singlet. A general analytic expression for the index of refraction is developed for a perfect axial gradient lens (single color, on axis). Index errors were then added to the perfect index and the lens evaluated for wavefront quality. We found that index errors on the order of 1.6x10-3 rms produced aberrations of 0.04 waves rms, which is within the bounds of a diffraction limited lens. LightPath now routinely fabricates glass with much less index variation, making feasible the fabrication of repeatable diffraction limited lenses with inhomogeneous glass.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 September 1997
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3130, Lens Design, Illumination, and Optomechanical Modeling, (25 September 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.284072
Show Author Affiliations
Robert H. Dueck, Optical Sciences Co. (United States)
Jeffrey L. Vaughn, Optical Sciences Co. (United States)
Boyd V. Hunter, LightPath Technologies, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3130:
Lens Design, Illumination, and Optomechanical Modeling
R. Barry Johnson; Robert E. Fischer; R. Barry Johnson; Richard C. Juergens; Richard C. Juergens; Paul R. Yoder Jr.; Warren J. Smith; Paul R. Yoder Jr., Editor(s)

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