August 12, 2022

This new technology makes f/1.4 lenses at almost zero cost

Researchers at Technion Israel Institute of Engineering have made a new way of building lenses with a curable liquid polymer that allows for more rapidly prototyping of new and tailor made optics. It is created largely for programs these kinds of as corrective lenses, augmented and virtual fact, medical imaging and astronomy, but could likely turn into a new production process (or at the very least allow for faster advancement) of photographic lenses.

In accordance to a press launch, the scientists started to create the new technique following realising that there have been all over 2.5 billion people today close to the earth who don’t have entry to corrective eyewear. Their objective was to make “a uncomplicated method for fabricating superior-quality optical elements that does not depend on mechanical processing or intricate and high priced infrastructure”.

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The new technological know-how uses liquid polymers to fashion the lens, which is then fixed into the hardened reliable optical aspect by becoming blasted with ultraviolet light-weight in a extremely identical way to how resin 3D printers work to remedy liquid resin into sound goods. But with this process, you do not have to offer with any form of layer strains or aliasing from low pixel resolutions, resulting in smooth clean up surfaces.

With the new system, the largest problem was gravity. After all, when you pour out a liquid, it tends to not hold its condition and flatten out into a puddle. To overcome this, the researchers identified a way to heal the liquid polymer though submerged within a different liquid, equalising the stress devoid of mixing, counteracting gravity and permitting the lens maintain its condition.

Due to the fact developing simple spherical lenses, scientists have expanded into optics with odd geometries, together with toroid and trefoil designs. They’ve also tested the approach with lenses up to 200mm in diameter reaching area characteristics that they say rival people of the greatest glass optics sharpening procedures when “being orders of magnitude faster and less difficult to make”.

The scientists are now doing the job on a way to automate the fabrication approach to permit a variety of optical topographies to be made in a far more specific and repeatable way. They are also experimenting with distinct polymers to locate out which make the most effective optical parts.

It’s a really attention-grabbing optical tech and I’d be extremely keen to see if this becomes a more prevalent method of manufacture and prototyping for the large camera and lens organizations in the coming yrs. It guaranteed would be quicker for them to take a look at optical layouts making use of one thing like this vs the present common techniques of grinding glass pucks. Of system, they’d have to uncover or produce a polymer that features the same index of refraction as their optical glass in order to be able to test optical styles for mass lens output thoroughly.

Read extra about the new liquid polymer optics production tech at Technion Israel Institute of Technologies.

[via Innovation Origins]