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Proceedings Paper

Development of a laser-based process chain for manufacturing free form optics
Author(s): S. Heidrich; A. Richmann; E. Willenborg
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents the development of a laser based process chain for manufacturing fused silica optics. Due to disadvantages of conventional methods concerning costs and time when manufacturing optics with nonspherical shape, this process chain focuses on aspherical and free form surface geometries, but it is also capable of producing spherical optics. It consists of three laser based processing steps, which in combination produce the optics. In a first step, fused silica is ablated with laser radiation to produce the geometry of the optics. A subsequent laser polishing step reduces the surface roughness and a third step uses laser micro ablation to remove the last remaining redundant material. Most of the conducted experiments are carried out using CO2 laser radiation, but it is also possible to ablate material with ultra short pulse laser radiation. Besides describing the experimental setup and the mechanisms of the ablation and polishing step, the paper presents and discusses results achieved to date. Although the process chain is still under development, the single process steps already reach promising results for themselves and moreover, first elements are manufactured using the first two process steps together.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 May 2012
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 8433, Laser Sources and Applications, 84330P (11 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.922407
Show Author Affiliations
S. Heidrich, Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (Germany)
A. Richmann, RWTH Aachen (Germany)
E. Willenborg, Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8433:
Laser Sources and Applications
Thomas Graf; Jacob I. Mackenzie; Helena Jelínková; John Powell, Editor(s)

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