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How To Better design Micro Optics

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Micro optics are enabling the development of ever-more compact, portable, and disposable optical systems. Especially for industries that require a high level of precision, one of the challenges of designing micro optics systems is achieving reduced size and weight without compromising quality and performance. Here are a few ways that a designer or manufacturer can improve the quality of your micro optical design.

1. Match the aperture

Because of their small size, it’s often helpful to use the full mechanical diameter as the working clear aperture when determining specifications for micro optics. Even a 1 mm edge can be too large if you really want a micro instrument.


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2. Stop! In the name of light

Micro optics, by their nature, allow only a small amount of light to pass through. For a system composed of several optical components, we discourage stepping down the system with a smaller physical stop, as this reduces the already limited available light.

3. Consider optical coatings

Coatings can be applied to improve light transmission in micro optics. They can drastically reduce reflection and light loss for multiple wavelengths. Honour Optics has very good coating capability for various types of coating; for example, we can coat to reduce reflection to 0.2% over the 380-650 nm range, or reduce the reflectance to less than 0.05% for a single wavelength.

Coating options for micro optics include:

Single layer magnesium fluoride coating
Broadband anti-reflection (BBAR)
Single wavelength AR coating (V-coating)
Dual-band AR coating (W-coating)
Triple-band AR coating (Triplet coating)

4. Pay attention to perimeters

Coatings are most effective for micro optics when they’re applied all the way to the edge. Fortunately, Honour Optics is able to coat the whole surface of micro optics.