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Measurements support innovation in optical aspheres and freeform surfaces such as those used for phone camera lenses
An article entitled Getting the measure of aspheric and freeform lenses was recently featured in the online journal Electro Optics. The article refers to the contribution made by EMPIR project Reference algorithms and metrology on aspherical and freeform lenses (15SIB01, FreeFORM) to improve measurement uncertainty for charactering lens features in all smart systems such as mobile phones, vision systems and satellites.
Aspheres and freeform optical surfaces are components used in industry for a variety of photonics applications, from medical imaging to astronomy. They deliver better image quality compared with traditional spherical elements for compact smart systems, and as a result their use is growing rapidly. However, the ability to develop higher performance aspheres and freeform optical surfaces is limited by the precision with which the shape of their surface can be measured. Although modern optical polishing techniques can remove material at the nanometre level, measurement instruments are unable to measure with the same degree of accuracy.
The EMPIR project FreeFORM built on the work of the previous EMRP project Optical and tactile metrology for absolute form characterisation (IND10, FORM), which achieved form measurements below 100 nanometres, by developing new form measurement capabilities within European National Measurement Institutes that can allow accurate measurements at 30 nanometres on some special surfaces. The capabilities developed will strengthen Europe’s position in global optics and will be used by industry to develop a new level in optical device performance.
EMPIR projects are co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.
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