Advances in diffraction-limited aspheric lenses

23rd July 2019
Posted By : Alex Lynn
Advances in diffraction-limited aspheric lenses

Nuclear research laser facilities around the world today commonly use powerful amplified ultra-short duration pulses of coherent light to deliver massive energy densities at a given target. The synchronised delivery of such high-power pulses generates extreme conditions that allow scientists to carry out state of the art nuclear research and to study the conditions that exist in exotic and distant to us environments, such as the core of our sun.

Using such facilities, researchers around the world are seeking to advance knowledge in fields such as particle and nuclear physics, material science, astrophysics with applications that range from nuclear energy to medical research. However, to push back the frontiers of these nuclear research applications places great demands on the quality of optics used to deliver and focus the energy of the high energy lasers onto their targets.

Over the last 40 years, Optical Surfaces has produced diffraction-limited aspheric lenses, up to 600mm in diameter, in a range of high-quality optical glasses with low f-number to optimise light gathering and focusing performance. Drawing upon a highly skilled workforce, proprietary production techniques and a uniquely stable manufacturing environment, Optical Surfaces is able to manufacture aspheric lenses with surface finish of 20/10 scratch/dig, surface roughness of 1nm rms and ultra-smooth slope errors.

These leading-edge specifications, coupled with a range of high-power laser coatings to maintain high transmission, has enabled Optical Surfaces aspheric lenses to operate at the ultra-high energy thresholds demanded by the latest generation of Terawatt lasers.

A rolling program for the calibration of test optics to national standards, where possible, and production approval to ISO 9001-2015 ensures that the quality of aspheric lenses from Optical Surfaces is second to none.


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