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Integration of the Design and Manufacture of Gradient-Index Optical Systems.

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Doctoral thesis,

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Modern manufacturing incorporates fabrication constraints and quality control into the initial product design to create competitive, cost effective products. This research offers a design for manufacture approach to gradient index lens production. Fabrication parameters are coupled to a lens design program to eliminate the traditional trial and error manufacturing process. The new approach allows a lens designer to design a gradient index optical system in terms of the actual fabrication parameters and then provides a set of experimental specifications to the materials scientist. The result is a more efficient and cost effective manufacturing process for gradient index optical systems. Therefore, a more efficient design for manufacture approach is offered by this research. First, a mathematical model for gradient index fabrication by ion exchange is developed using Fickian diffusion theory. Second, an experimental procedure is developed to test this model against experimental results for several different diffusion times and temperatures in both axial and radial sample geometries. In particular, empirical diffusion models are developed for Li for Na and Na for Li ion exchange in alumina silicate glasses, alumina borate glasses, and titania silicate glasses. Third, the model is integrated with a lens design program to allow optimization on diffusion parameters and several sample designs are presented which compare the old design procedure with this new method of design. Thus, with the completion of this research, a lens designer can now choose from a realistic set of gradient index glasses and, in turn, generate a complete set of experimental specifications for the production of the gradient.

Subject Categories:

  • Optics
  • Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering and Control of Production Systems

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