Micro-Optics and Systems

Micro-Optics and Systems

Micro-optics includes a family of optical components and systems that are fabricated with the aid of modern micromachining, such as optical lithography, direct laser and e-beam writing and reactive ion-etching. Design data for arbitrary phase profiles can be transformed into optical elements, which provides optimum design freedom. The OPT Lab has the know-how for the design, manufacturing and testing of refractive and diffractive micro-optics. The functionality of the elements has been proven in various applications, including laser-beam shaping, illumination systems for DUV-lithography, optical interconnects, lab-on-chip sensing systems and miniaturized imaging systems. Of strong interest is the impact of miniaturization on the performance of small optical systems. Miniaturized systems under investigation include for example the combination of micro-optics and micro mechanics for miniaturized spectrometers.

Birefringent Micro-Optics

The interest is in understanding and calculating the optical properties of structured thin films of optically isotropic and anisotropic materials. Simulation tools are developed to study the light propagation in nano-structured anisotropic materials such as liquid crystalline blue phases. Special emphasis is placed on introducing birefringent optical materials in system applications. Polymers and liquid crystals are used to develop birefringent micro-optical elements with increased functionality. Actual projects include fabrication and design of composite materials to realize metamaterials and combine refractive and diffractive optical effects with interference to create iridescent colors.