Optical Properties of a Bio-Inspired Gradient Refractive Index Polymer Lens
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC OPTICAL SCIENCES DIV
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The design, fabrication, and properties of one of a new class of gradient-index lenses are reported. The lens is an f2.25 GRIN singlet based on a nanolayered polymer composite material, designed to correct for spherical aberration. The light gathering and focusing properties of the polymer lens are compared to a homogeneous BK7 glass singlet with a similar f-number. The modulation transfer function of the polymer GRIN lens exceeded that of the homogeneous glass lens at all spatial frequencies and was as much as 3 times better at 5 cycmm. The weight of the polymer lens was approximately an order of magnitude less than the homogeneous glass lens.