Addoptics manufactures high quality custom microlens arrays. We can manufacture a large variety of arrays, from prototypes to end products, from basic spherical designs to more complex arrays such as aspherical and freeform lens designs, in a cost effective and efficient way.

What are microlens arrays?

Microlenses are small lenses and as such a simple design can give a good optical quality. A typical microlens has one plane surface and a spherical convex surface to refract light. More sophisticated microlenses can use aspherical surfaces or even several layers of optical material in order to achieve the desired result.

Microlens arrays have multiple lenses formed in a one- or two-dimensional array on a substrate. Microlenses on such a substrate are commonly placed in a hexagonal array to obtain maximum coverage of the substrate. Microlens arrays can, for instance, be used with optical sensor systems, where they focus and concentrate light onto a photo-diode surface.

Types of microlenses

There are various kinds of microlenses. Some microlens arrays achieve their focusing power by a variation in refractive index and by the surface shape. A type of microlens that has two flat and parallel surfaces are known as GRIN lenses. Then there is also the micro-Fresnel lens. This lens focuses light by refraction in a set of concentric curved surfaces. An advantage of these lenses is that they are very lightweight and thin.

Check our Addoptics datasheet for our most up-to-date capabilities and material properties.

Advantages of microlens arrays

Microlens arrays are commonly used for homogenizing a variety of light emitters, ranging from narrow excimer lasers to high power LEDs. Microlenses are well equipped to handle applications that require high efficiency and non-gaussian uniformity.

Applications of microlens arrays

Microlens arrays are most often used to increase light collection efficiency of charge-coupled device arrays. They collect and focus light that would have otherwise fallen onto non-sensitive areas of the CCD. Microlens arrays are also commonly used in digital projectors, where they are used to focus light. There are also combinations of microlens arrays that have been designed for new imaging properties, such as the ability to show an image at unit magnification, while the image is not inverted (which would have been the case with other techniques). Micro-lens arrays are also used for compact imaging devices, like smartphone cameras. Or they can be used in optical microscopes, where two arrays can be used to achieve uniform illumination. And lastly, micro-lens arrays are also used to achieve light field photography (plenoptic camera) and as such eliminates the need for initial focusing for capturing images. Focus is instead achieved during post-processing of the images with software.

Microlens arrays are becoming an integral part of most optical systems nowadays. Applications they are used in include:

  • Digital projectors
  • Display and HUD imaging systems
  • Illumination systems
  • Optical sensors
  • Medical laser systems
  • And more…

Why choose Addoptics for your microlens arrays?

We offer smart manufacturing of custom polymer optics. With our manufacturing service we offer optical prototyping solutions as well as series production of custom optics. We can provide you with high-quality custom optics in a matter of days.

Speed of 3D printing

One of the biggest advantages of our process is the speed at which we can manufacture custom optics, whether they be optical prototypes or end products. Normally lead times are several weeks, with our process – which is 10X faster – you can have your custom optics delivered to you in a matter of days.

Cost effective solution

We do not calculate any high, upfront investments and there is no minimum order quantity. This is especially handy and cost-effective for rapid prototyping purposes, like creating various iterations on a product and choosing the best one.

Iterative design process

Due to our process you can easily have several different microlens arrays created and shipped to you within a short time frame. This enables you to test and optimize the optical design and then re-iterate to get your final product. Working in such an iterative way enables engineers and product marketers to develop novel optics. All this can be done without any huge investments or costly tooling.

Full design freedom

Create new designs and new possibilities with our unique manufacturing process. We can produce optical prototypes, as well as batch production of custom optics. Feel free to check out our datasheet for our up-to-date capabilities.

 

Check our Addoptics datasheet for our most up-to-date capabilities and material properties.

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