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Flexible, High Performance Microlens Array Technologies for Integral Field Spectrographs, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

For the purposes of advancing integral field spectrograph (IFS) microlens capabilities, a new class of high-quality optics-grade nanostructured organic-inorganic nanocomposite three-dimensional (3D) gradient index (GRIN) microlens optical materials is proposed. In the Phase I program, solid state freeform (SFF) fabrication of high contrast 3D-gradient-index microlens array elements will be demonstrated using a research grade printer. A design of experiment will be conducted to optimize a series of 3D-GRIN films with axial, radial, and vertical gradient optical index patterns with microlenses of varying diameter, pitch, and focal length, including those symmetric and asymmetric. The films will be thoroughly characterized using optical coherent tomography and spectral interferometric techniques, and their power will be tested using collimated and converging light. A series of planar microlens arrays of varying shape, diameter, density, focal length will then be fabricated, and then planar films with two-surface microlens array, including masking, will be fabricated using the measured process parameters (i.e. Δn, Δn/(Δx,y,z), dispersion, etc.) More »

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