Video: Free-form – quality leap in optical systems
Winners of the Stifterverband Science Prize 2018:
Dr. Ramona Eberhardt, Fraunhofer IOF
Sven Kiontke, asphericon GmbH
Prof. Dr. Herbert Gross, Institut für Angewandte Physik der FSU Jena
Jürgen Zosel, ORAFOL Fresnel Optics GmbH
Dr. Alexander Pillukat, Jena-Optronik GmbH
Lutz Reichmann, JENOPTIK Optical Systems GmbH
Dr. Stefan Jakobs, Optics Balzers Jena GmbH
Dr. Christian Hell, Photonic Sense GmbH
Dr. Uta Jauernig, POG Präzisionsoptik Gera GmbH
Dr. Ralf Henkel, VITRON Spezialwerkstoffe GmbH
Light is a universally employed energy source. Technologies and solutions that work with light are present in almost all industries and markets. Even science and research are unthinkable without optical systems. Spherical or aspherical optics have been predominant for many decades. In the age of digitization, short product cycles and miniaturization, though, optics also demand new functions and features. A particularly promising technology consists of so-called free-form optics. The optionally shapeable surface profiles enable new functions with significantly improved image quality. Another advantage is the particularly compact design.
A research team at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena has made decisive progress in this regard. Together with industry partners and the University of Jena, the IOF experts have explored the potential of free-form optical systems, presented innovative solutions and developed the manufacturing methods. From the high precision grinding of the lenses as well as the coating and finishing of the complex surfaces to the polishing of the lenses, the researchers had to solve a number of technical challenges.