We will compare the capabilities of high-quality aspheric microlenses fabricated using refractive ("analog") and diffractive ("binary") optics. Both have advantages and disadvantages operationally and in fabrication. In comparing their properties, we will describe a new means of fabricating such refractive (components) developed at Hughes Danbury Optical Systems to complement our existing (binary) technology. The new process for fabricating refractive microlenses is referred to as Laser Activated Chemical Etching (LACE), and yields arbitrarily aspheric elements with figure controllable to better than 1/10 wave, fill factors in arrays greater than 95%, and achievable f-numbers less than unity.
© 1991 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article