A microlens array is a rigid assembly of very small lenses (lenslets or micro lenses). This array may include thousands or even millions of micro lenses. A microlens array can be used to homogenize light and is ideal for use in applications when high efficiency and non-gaussian uniformity are required. At Avantier, we design and manufacture high quality custom microlens arrays for special applications.
Types of Microlens Arrays
Most microlens arrays are manufactured from UV-grade fused silica. They can be manufactured in a variety of focal length options. There are two main configurations used, the fly’s eye condenser and the square lens. Both fly’s eye condenser arrays and square microlens arrays are often used in pairs.
- Fly’s Eye Condenser Arrays: A fly’s eye condenser array is formed of dual-surface cylindrical micro lenses mounted in a close-packed configuration, and are used for flat-top and line generation. They are ideal for situations in which one must work with a short working distance and also a large illuminated field.
- Square Microlens Arrays: Square microlens arrays have a high ratio of active refracting area to total continuous area of the microlens array. This tight packing is known as a high fill factor and means zero-order hot spots in the illuminated field are eliminated. Square microlens arrays are often used to homogenize and shape beams. They can produce a square flat-top or spot pattern.
Various types of Microlens Arrays
Applications of Microlens Arrays
Microlens arrays are used in a wide variety of optical systems, from welding to laser ablation and fiber coupling to solar simulation and medical laser. Like natural compound eyes, they can provide an extremely large field of view angles, low aberration, and an infinite depth of field. They are not ideal where high resolution is required, as the sensitivity and resolution of the images produced is intrinsically limited.
In fiber optics, microlens arrays are used to collimate the output of fiber arrays. A microlens can also be used together with a CCD array in a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor, an optical instrument that can measure the wavefront shape of incident light.
Specifications of Microlens Arrays
- Diameter: +0, -0.1mm
- Surface accuracy: λ/2 @633nm or better
- Thickness: ±0.2mm
- Centration: ±0.04mm
- Surface quality:20-10
- Bevel: 0.2mm typical
- Material: SK2; BK7 and more
Custom Microlens Arrays at Avantier
Avantier utilizes methods like semiconductor processing technology and lasers material processing to manufacture the highest quality microlenses and microlens assemblies.
When buying in-stock micro lens arrays from an optical supplier you may find yourself ordering optical components that only approximately fit your needs. Unfortunately, these approximate matches often don’t perform quite as desired. They may also make your optical systems larger and clumsier than they could be.
What if you could order the exact optical component you need, tailor-made for your application? At Avantier, we specialize in custom microlens arrays that precisely match our customers’ specifications. Talk to our optical engineers and get started on a custom design project today.
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