Novel, Cost-effective Process for the Replication of Hybrid Diffractive Optical Elements in Silica Glass

Period of Performance: 09/30/1994 - 06/29/1995

$100K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Geltech, Inc.
3267 Progress Drive
Orlando, FL 32826
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
PO Box 2008 MS6085
Oak Ridge, TN 37831
Institution POC

Research Topics

Abstract

Hybrid optics are optical systems that integrate diffractive optical surfaces into lenses, resulting in designs that minimize the aberrations that degrade image quality without the need for additional glass elements. This reduces the cost, weight, and complexity of the system while improving the overall optical efficiency. While many designs have been published that take advantage of the combination of diffractive and refractive optical elements in hybrid optical systems, a method of mass producing high-quality hybrid lenses cheaply is desperately needed. In this Phase I STTR proposal, the Oak Ridge National Lab and GELTECH, Inc. combine their capabilities to demonstrate the feasibility of producing hybrid diffractive/refractive optics in silica glass by a replication process which lends itself to high volume, low cost production. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory is recognized as a world leader in the manufacturing of optics using single point diamond turning, and GELTECH is recognized as a world leader in their unique ability to replicate fine-featured optical elements in silica glass via sol-gel processing. This merging of two leading technologies provides a synergism that will result in a manufacturing technology for cost-effective, high-volume production of silica glass precision hybrid optical components.