Optical assembly and creating optical modules is a very challenging part of the optics industry. Companies such as Nalux, which are set up to perform optical assembly in order to supply our customers with the optical modules that they need are hard to find.
There are many reasons why optical assembly and the creation of optical modules is so difficult. The first issue is alignment. It is extemely difficult to create these modules because they require very precise alignments. Some optical modules will not work if they are out of alignment by as much as one micron. While this is an extreme case, an optical assembly often has several optics that make up the entire module. Additionally, the lenses or other elements within the optical assembly are held in place by a housing. The housing of the module is subject to heating and cooling. As the optical assembly heats and cools, it expands and contracts in both the direction of the optical axis and also in the transverse direction. This expansion and contraction introduces additional misalignments in the optical assembly and can result in the module not working correctly or being out of focus.
A second issue that causes difficulties with an optical assembly is the actual assembly method itself. How to assemble the different components of the module can make the difference between an optical assembly that works and one that doesn't work well at all. If an adhesive is chosen as the way to hold the elements in place, then care has to be taken in how much adhesive to apply. The adhesive will cause problems for the module if it is too thick because it will be difficult to correctly locate the element and it will cause problems if it is too thin because it will then be stringy and messy to work with and also won't stay in place long enough to cure. Optical assembly will also suffer when adhesives themselves experience heating and cooling and expand and contract at different rates than does the housing and the elements themselves.
An third problem is that usually modules are not put into mass production. When an optical assembly goes into mass production, there is plenty of time to make assembly tooling perfect so that the modules created work correctly. However, when a single optical assembly is made or when only a few modules are made it is difficult to get the alignments correct so many rejects are made before an accurate optical assembly is produced. This is because all of the problems with assembling the modules are learned at the beginning of the optical assembly operation and when you finally get them figured out you don't need any extra modules.
So, as you can see optical assembly and the creation of optical modules is a tricky business. Nalux has, through experience, learned the pitfalls of creating modules and is ready to put that expertise to work for you. Give us a call, we'd be glad to help.
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."