Optics Glasses

27Feb, 2018

A.Optical Components Ltd. custom designs and manufactures top-of-the-line optics glasses using a precise, systematic method that includes the most advanced technology and rigorous testing.

There are many types of optics glasses available that A.Optical Components Ltd. can customize to meet the client’s specifications. Their products range from commercially-available glasses to precise imaging used for special purposes. They can deliver a variety of high-quality optics glasses that are integrated and utilized in many industries.

The quality of performance of optics lenses and prisms are partly dependent on the quality of glass materials used. A. Optics only uses first-rate optical materials from well-known and reputable glass manufacturers, resulting in reliable and consistent performance.

This is why selecting a glass material is of utmost importance. Each material has different optical characteristics. In designing these high-grade, specialized materials, designers usually refer to the index of refraction, Abbe number of glass, density, and coefficient of thermal expansion.

The index of refraction is the ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum to the speed of light through a given material in a particular wavelength. Abbe number, on the other hand, is a measure of the dispersion of the transparent material in relation to the refractive index. The density of a glass determines the weight of the optical assembly. The coefficient of linear thermal expansion is a measure of how much volume changes as a material is heated or cooled.

Optics glass has to maintain its quality and integrity since it is one of the essential building blocks of technical material. It is characterized by three fundamental properties: refractive index, dispersion, and transmission. A. Optical Components Ltd. are committed to being very familiar with the properties of optical glass.

The refractive index is the ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum to the speed of light in the specified material. This is a description of how light slows down as it passes through an optical material. Materials with a low index of refraction are commonly referred to as “crowns” and materials with a high index of refraction are referred to as “flints.” Dispersion, on the other hand, is the variation of the refractive index with wavelength, which is specified using the Abbe number. A low Abbe number shows high dispersion, and crown glasses have lower dispersion than flint glasses. The transmission of visible light determines the effectiveness of a type of glass in providing light through a surface. Crown glasses usually have a better transmission in the near ultraviolet range than flint glasses. A. Optical Components works with both crown glass and flint glass as raw materials.

Throughout the design and manufacturing process of optics glasses, optical specifications are employed. These optical specifications are then tested to ensure the highest quality. When tested, optics glasses usually adhere to several performance parameters (i.e. wavefront distortion, modulation transfer function) and physical parameters (i.e. surface accuracy).

Here is a short explanation of some of these performance and physical parameters and why they are important:

Wavefront Distortion Tests

A. Optical Components routinely performs wavefront distortion tests on the components for which the parameter was specified. Wavefront distortion in optical components is an important feature because it may affect the performance and ability of optical systems. Testing for wavefront distortion is used for transmitting elements such as achromats, windows, filters, prisms, and many others. The method that is used for testing is almost consistent with the way these optical elements or assemblies are used.

What is the method used for wavefront testing? A flat, partially transmitting reference surface is used with a flat or concave spherical reference mirror. The mirror is used to reflect the test wavefront after it is transmitted by the test element.

Modulation Transfer Function

The modulation transfer function (MTF) is used to measure the image quality achieved by an imaging system. MTF describes the ability of a lens or system to transfer object contrast to the image. MTF is the best measure of the performance of a lens system.

Surface Accuracy

Surface accuracy is a physical parameter that attempts to specify how closely an optical surface conforms to its intended shape. It has two types: Surface flatness and Power and Irregularity. Surface flatness measures the deviation of flat surfaces while power and irregularity apply to curved optical surfaces.

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