Flexible fabrication of Fresnel micro-lens array by off-spindle-axis diamond turning and precision glass molding

Lin Zhang, Allen Y. Yi, Jiwang Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Fresnel micro-lens arrays with close-to-wavelength features have significant advantages in minimization of optical systems. However, in the fabrication of a Fresnel micro-lens array by conventional diamond turning, the discontinuous features of the surface profile cause interference between the tool flank face and the finished surface. In this manuscript, a novel off-spindle-axis diamond turning method is proposed to fabricate Fresnel micro-lens array mold insert and a toolpath generation algorithm is developed. The generation of each lenslet is treated as an independent turning operation, and the whole fabrication of a Fresnel micro-lens array is completed by a succession of repetitive turning operations. With this approach, the interference between the tool and the finished surface is avoided, and the form accuracy and surface integrity are improved for each lenslet. Then, the Fresnel micro-lens array mold insert is further utilized in precision glass molding to replicate the micro-lens structures onto transparent polymer substrates. The experimental results indicate that both the diamond-turned and molded Fresnel micro-lens arrays are achieved with homogeneous quality. As an application, a compact imaging system based on the molded Fresnel micro-lens array is demonstrated. The proposed machining method in this study can be employed in the fabrication of Fresnel micro-lens arrays and other micro-optics with discontinuous profiles with high accuracy and machining efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-194
Number of pages9
JournalPrecision Engineering
Volume74
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar

Keywords

  • Fresnel micro-lens array
  • Off-spindle-axis diamond turning
  • Optical components
  • Precision glass molding
  • Structured surface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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