Precision glass molding of diffractive optical elements with high surface quality

Yingying Zhang, Rongguang Liang, Oliver Joshua Spires, Shaohui Yin, Allen Yi, Tom D. Milster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Diffractive optical surfaces have attractive properties for use in optical systems, like reducing weight and correcting for chromatic aberrations, but fabrication of high-quality glass diffractive optics is challenging, preventing it from being widely adopted in commercial applications. In this Letter, we report on a fabrication method to address molding challenges for high-surface-quality diffractive glass optics at molding temperatures up to 550C, including selection of mold material, mold fabrication, precision glass molding, durability, and stability of the mold. To enable optimal mold machining and easy mold release, nickel phosphorous (NiP) is chosen as the plating material for its cutting performance and anti-adhesion properties, and copper-nickel C71500 (CuNi) is selected as the mold substrate because its coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) is close to NiP. By the proposed method, diffractive glass optics with 2 nm Sa surface roughness is demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6438-6441
Number of pages4
JournalChinese Optics Letters
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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