Lithographic manufacturing of adaptive optics components

R. Phillip Scott, Madison Jean, Lee Johnson, Ridley Gatlin, Ryan Bronson, Tom Milster, Michael Hart

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Adaptive optics systems and their laboratory test environments call for a number of unusual optical components. Examples include lenslet arrays, pyramids, and Kolmogorov phase screens. Because of their specialized application, the availability of these parts is generally limited, with high cost and long lead time, which can also significantly drive optical system design. These concerns can be alleviated by a fast and inexpensive method of optical fabrication. To that end, we are exploring direct-write lithographic techniques to manufacture three different custom elements. We report results from a number of prototype devices including 1, 2, and 3 wave Multiple Order Diffractive (MOD) lenslet arrays with 0.75 mm pitch and phase screens with near Kolmogorov structure functions with a Fried length r0 around 1 mm. We also discuss plans to expand our research to include a diffractive pyramid that is smaller, lighter, and more easily manufactured than glass versions presently used in pyramid wavefront sensors. We describe how these components can be produced within the limited dynamic range of the lithographic process, and with a rapid prototyping and manufacturing cycle. We discuss exploratory manufacturing methods, including replication, and potential observing techniques enabled by the ready availability of custom components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAstronomical Optics
Subtitle of host publicationDesign, Manufacture, and Test of Space and Ground Systems
EditorsTony B. Hull, Pascal Hallibert, Dae Wook Kim
ISBN (Electronic)9781510612594
StatePublished - Sep 7 2017
EventAstronomical Optics: Design, Manufacture, and Test of Space and Ground Systems 2017 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 6 2017Aug 10 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherAstronomical Optics: Design, Manufacture, and Test of Space and Ground Systems 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • adaptive optics
  • manufacturing
  • turbulence
  • wavefront sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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