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Precision Glass Molded Optics

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Precisely molded Glass Spherical and Aspheric optical elements are a fairly recent development in optics manufacturing. This paper will describe the various techniques developed to mold glass lenses, with application examples given for each method. A worldwide survey of known commercial availability and very recent developments at Kodak to demonstrate the potential of the precision glass molding technology are reviewed. Precision Glass Molding (PGM) at Kodak has been extended from Spherical and Aspheric lens molding to non-symmetrical optics. Even more recently radiation hardened glasses, glass-based infrared materials, and laser glasses have been molded. Since the molded optic precisely replicates the tool, features on the optic can be utilized to more easily align aspheric and non-symmetrical optical elements into the optical system. Transmitted wavefronts of better than 0.05 waves rms are achieved with a single aspheric lens. Overall performance of the single element lens system is typically superior to a three-element spherical lens system when field performance, magnification control, and actual N.A. control are considered.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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