Hybrid optics are optics that are not composed of a single monolithic material but are a combination of at least two materials. Nalux has developed the technology to mass produce hybrid optics. Our hybrid optics are mainly composed of a core of glass and on top of the glass is a special polymer with it's refractive index matched to the glass. The structure that is needed to make the optic perform its desired function is imparted to the polymer by a proprietary technique called nano imprinting.
Nano imprinting of hybrid optics is very similar to the process of glass molding. In order to create hybrid optics by nano imprinting, a glass wafer with a layer of uncured polymer is prepared. This polymer/glass wafer is then brought underneath a mold which comes down and through heat and pressure forms the polymer layer to the desired shape and cures the polymer.
Advantages of nano imprinting of hybrid optics over pure glass molding are:
1. Less expensive tooling.
2. Less expensive parts due to a shorter cycle time.
Disadvantages of nano imprinting of hybrid optics when compared to pure glass molding are:
1. Hybrid optics cannot withstand the same high power laser applications as can pure glass optics because the polymers will degrade.
Areas where nano imprinting of hybrid optics are roughly equivalent to glass molding are:
1. Dimensional stability through large temperature ranges.
2. Rigidity of the optics produced
As in all things, the nano imprinting of hybrid optics has it's advantages and disadvantages when compared to other fabrication methods. The good thing about Nalux as a company is that nano imprinting of hybrid optics is just one of an array of fabrication methods at our disposal. Call us and we can see which method is right for you.
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NALUX NANO OPTICAL, INC.
65 E.State Street, Suit2000
Columbus, Ohio 43215
c/o Schneider Downs
"Lighting a path to the future with nano-optics."