Flat Optics: Flattening the Curve
Many of today’s systems from smartphones to LiDAR systems in autonomous vehicles contain optical elements. The continued trend towards technology miniaturization poses a challenge to the field of optics because classical lenses and mirrors tend to be bulky. One way of dealing with this challenge is the increased use of flat optics.
Over the past decade promising new optical technologies known as geometric phase optics, based on metasurfaces and liquid crystals, have emerged for the fabrication flat optics. Rather than using differences in optical path — controlled by adjusting lens thickness, curvature or refractive index — to manipulate light, as is the case with classical optics, metasurfaces and liquid crystals instead manipulate light via sub-wavelength features induced in their optical substrate or anisotropy of molecular structure. This enables them to be fabricated without curvature and at dimensions much smaller than classical optics, which will be crucial if optical systems — and the technologies containing them — are to be miniaturized further.
The researchers have developed a new technique for producing flat optics with ultrafast laser-induced modification in silica glass that produces anisotropic nanopores. The modification enables the fabrication of ultralow-loss birefringent optical elements with high transmission from the UV to infrared, as well as high optical damage threshold and high thermal and chemical durability.
To read about this new technique in the article “Flattening the Curve”, published in Electro Optics.
Manx Precision Optics (MPO) offers a large range of high-power laser optics that are customisable, based on customer demands and applications. With special expertise in high Laser-Induced Damage Threshold (LIDT) optics, their products typically exceed laser-induced damage levels of 10 J/cm2 in 1 ns at 10 Hz repetition rate.
MPO’s high-power laser optics are available in a range of sizes from 5 mm up to 500 mm diameter with a surface flatness in excess of lambda/10 after coating. Their highly flexible, full in-house manufacturing process is ISO 9001:2015 certified and offers full traceability. With an experienced workforce dedicated to their craft, MPO offers customers the best possible advice and solutions for even the most challenging of applications.
To request more information or a quotation for Manx Precision Optics products, contact IL Photonics.