LpR 72 Article - page 42: Microlens arrays (MLA) have been used for imaging and non-imaging applications for a long time as cost-effective solutions. Non-symmetrical beam shapes require more advanced non-symmetrical freeform microlens arrays (FMLA). The required FMLA molding tools convey a high cost and an iteration process is required for the final design. Oscar Fernández, Tamara Aderneuer, Rolando Ferrini from the Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique, CSEM, and Julien Duchene from ANSYS proposed a method to overcome these limitations based on 3D surface sampling, computer generation of a ray-traceable model and ray-tracing performance simulation and demonstrate feasibility for several commercially available freeform asymmetric thin-film diffusers.
The practical advantages of microlens arrays, MLAs, have been widely exploited in diverse applications such as illumination, imaging, optical communication and security/anti-counterfeiting. On the other hand, the advances in computing and ultra-precision micro-machining achieved in the last years have enabled the design and manufacturing of the so-called freeform optical components. Such components, with no restrictions in rotational or translational symmetry, represent a fundamental shift and a powerful tool for optical designers and engineers to boost device miniaturization and performance, create new functionalities and reduce manufacturing costs.
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