Abstract

An innovative manufacturing process utilizing high-temperature compression molding to fabricate aspherical microlenses by using optical glasses, such as BK7, K-PG325, and soda-lime glass, is investigated. In a departure from conventional approaches, a unique hollow contactless mold design is adopted. Polished glass substrates and the mold assembly are heated above the glass transition temperature first, followed by initial forming, then annealing. The forming rate is controlled in real time to ensure mold position accuracy. Mold materials used include tungsten carbides, 316 stainless steel, 715 copper nickel, and aluminum alloys. The geometric control of the microlenses or microlens arrays can be precisely controlled by the forming temperature, forming speed, mold design, and annealing time.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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