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Optical System Design

Design and characterization of an infrared Alvarez lens

[+] Author Affiliations
Paul J. Smilie

University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Department of Physics and Optical Science, Center for Optoelectronics and Optical Communications, 9201 University City Boulevard, Charlotte, North Carolina 28223

Brian S. Dutterer, Jennifer L. Lineberger, Matthew A. Davies

University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Center for Precision Metrology, 9201 University City Boulevard, Charlotte, North Carolina 28223

Thomas J. Suleski

University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Department of Physics and Optical Science, Center for Optoelectronics and Optical Communications, 9201 University City Boulevard, Charlotte, North Carolina 28223

Opt. Eng. 51(1), 013006 (Jan 31, 2012). doi:10.1117/1.OE.51.1.013006
History: Received September 10, 2011; Revised November 21, 2011; Accepted November 22, 2011
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Abstract.  While Alvarez lens prototypes have recently been manufactured and tested for visible wavelengths, there is little discussion of these types of components for infrared applications in the published literature. We present and characterize a germanium Alvarez lens for infrared imaging. Mathematical analysis for determining the required cubic surfaces is presented, and ray-based and wave-based optical simulations are performed to confirm and refine the expected variable-focus behavior. As part of the design study, we examine the effects of effective f-number of the Alvarez lens and gap between the freeform surfaces on image quality, modulation transfer function, and Strehl ratio. The germanium Alvarez lens pair is fabricated through freeform diamond micro-milling, and characterized using a custom-built imaging test station in the mid-infrared. The variable-focus and imaging capabilities of this lens are demonstrated experimentally and compared to predicted results with good agreement.

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© 2012 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Topics

Lenses ; Germanium

Citation

Paul J. Smilie ; Brian S. Dutterer ; Jennifer L. Lineberger ; Matthew A. Davies and Thomas J. Suleski
"Design and characterization of an infrared Alvarez lens", Opt. Eng. 51(1), 013006 (Jan 31, 2012). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.51.1.013006


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