Optics & Infrared Sensing
Optical Lens Design and System Modeling
Low level detection of chemicals-of-interest place stringent requirements on the optical performance of a sensor and therefore require the design of a system of custom lenses that efficiently collect, collimate, and focus QCL emission. The Optical Design Group, using sequential ray tracing code, designs custom optical elements encompassing refractive, reflective, and diffractive solutions to provide efficient solutions to complex problems. Custom optics are fabricated using several methods such as: deterministic methods such as single point diamond turning for ductile materials; deterministic grinding of ceramics or hard and brittle materials; conventional grinding and polishing; glass compression molding; and photolithographic methods. The optical design group assists in the specification and procurement of custom optics, as well as providing incoming inspection to assure that all optical performance requirements have been met.
In addition to custom lens design, the optical design group also models system performance, from the UV to mm wave region, using commercial ray tracing code (Zemax) and predicts stray light effects using non-sequential ray tracing (TracePro). These tools can also be used to model fluorescence, bulk scattering of light, and non-imaging optics for specific and general illumination applications. The optical design group can also assist in obtaining appropriate thin film coatings for a specific application, including custom design and modeling of theoretical performance using industry-standard optical coating design software (Essential Macleod).