The size and weight of conventional imaging systems is defined by costly non-planar lenses and the complex lens assemblies required to minimize optical aberrations. The ability to engineer gradient refractive index (GRIN) optics has the potential to overcome constraints of traditional homogeneous lenses by reducing the number of components in optical systems. Here, an innovative strategy to realize this goal based on monolithic GRIN media created in Ge-As-Se-Pb chalcogenide infrared nanocomposites is presented. A gradient heat treatment to spatially modulate the volume fraction of high refractive index Pb-rich nanocrystals within a glass matrix is utilized, providing a GRIN profile while maintaining an optical transparency. A first-ever correlation of material chemistry and microstructure, processing protocol, and optical property modification resulting in a prototype GRIN structure is presented. The integrated approach and mechanistic understanding illustrated by this versatile modification paradigm provides a platform for new optical functionalities in next-generation imaging applications.
M. Kang and L. Sisken and C. Lonergan and A. Buff and A. Yadav and C. Goncalves and C. Blanco and P. Wachtel and J. D. Musgraves and A. V. Pogrebnyakov and E. Baleine and C. Rivero-Baleine and T. S. Mayer and C. G. Pantano and K. A. Richardson, "Monolithic Chalcogenide Optical Nanocomposites Enable Infrared System Innovation: Gradient Refractive Index Optics," Advanced Optical Materials, vol. 8, no. 10, article no. 2000150, Wiley, May 2020.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1002/adom.202000150
Materials Science and Engineering
Keywords and Phrases
chalcogenide glass-ceramics; gradient refractive index; heat treatment; optical nanocomposites; spatially selective crystallization
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Article - Journal
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01 May 2020