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Proceedings Paper

3D-printed optical active components
Author(s): S. Suresh Nair; J. Nuding; A. Heinrich
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Paper Abstract

Additive Manufacturing (AM) has the potential to become a powerful tool in the realization of complex optical components. The primary advantage that meets the eye, is that fabrication of geometrically complicated optical structures is made easier in AM as compared to the conventional fabrication methods (using molds for instance). But this is not the only degree of freedom that AM has to offer. With the multitude of materials suitable for AM in the market, it is possible to introduce functionality into the components one step before fabrication: by altering the raw material. A passive example would be to use materials with varying properties together, in a single manufacturing step, constructing samples with localized refractive indices for instance. An active approach is to blend in materials with distinct properties into the photopolymer resin and manufacturing with this composite material. Our research is currently focused in this direction, with the desired optical property to be introduced being Photoluminescence. Formation of nanocomposite mixtures to produce samples is the current approach. With this endeavor, new sensor systems can be realized, which may be used to measure the absorption spectra of biological samples. Thereby the sample compartment, the optics and the spectral light source (different quantum dots) are 3D-printed in one run. This component can be individually adapted to the biological sample with respect to wavelength, optical and mechanical properties.

Here we would like to present our work on the additive manufacturing of an active optical component. Based on the stereolithography method, a monolithic optical component was 3D-printed, showing light emission at different defined wavelengths due to UV excited quantum dots inside the 3D-printed optics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 February 2018
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 10529, Organic Photonic Materials and Devices XX, 105290W (21 February 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2287427
Show Author Affiliations
S. Suresh Nair, Hochschule Aalen (Germany)
J. Nuding, Hochschule Aalen (Germany)
A. Heinrich, Hochschule Aalen (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10529:
Organic Photonic Materials and Devices XX
Christopher E. Tabor; François Kajzar; Toshikuni Kaino; Yasuhiro Koike, Editor(s)

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