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What affect the performance and price of optical lenses

The following aspects affect the performance and price of optical lenses, mainly reflected in:

1. Transmission and reflection characteristics

As mentioned earlier, the optical coating is designed based on interference effect. Therefore, the performance of optical coating depends on the reflection and transmission of light when interacting with coating and substrate. We can enhance the characteristics of reflection and transmission through its precise optical film coating. As mentioned above, single-layer and multi-layer coatings operate in the variation range of spectral wavelength, while multi-layer coatings operate in a wider spectral range. Compared with single-layer coating, the performance of multi-layer coating can reach nearly 10 times, but it is also much more complex than single-layer coating. Therefore, single-layer coatings are easier to manufacture and generally cheaper. The choice of coating depends on the performance required by the optical system. We have Fourier infrared spectrometer and ultraviolet visible spectrophotometry to measure the performance of our optical film coating. We can use these measurements to optimize the coating of a specific optical system and ensure the spectral performance of the coating.

2. Incident angle

The angle of incidence (AOI) is the angle at which light is incident on the surface of the optical element; The optical film is designed for the optimal incident angle. As the incident angle increases, the peak performance will change up to five times, and the wavelength of the nominal design can be converted to a longer or shorter wavelength. This is particularly evident when considering different polarization states (e.g. in beam splitters), so it is important to discuss which angles need to be optimized for a specific optical system.

3. Military specifications

Suppliers that provide products to the military have a set of strict quality standards, and products must meet these standards in order to qualify. Due to the paperwork required, the amount of testing, and the additional overhead associated with tighter tolerances, the cost of military projects may be higher than standard commercial work. When designing a system, it is important to establish absolutely necessary requirements and determine whether a component will still achieve the best performance with more flexible tolerances, so as to minimize the total production cost.

4. Substrate material type

Many factors need to be considered in the selection of substrate, all of which are ultimately driven by the application of optical system. These include the inherent properties of the material, such as refractive index, coefficient of thermal expansion and transmittance in a specific wavelength region. Manufacturing and design parameters, such as accessibility of materials, weight (e.g., plastics are usually used in lighter applications), and ease of manufacturability. It is also important to note that coated high reflectors may limit the peak reflectivity due to scattering, depending on the surface quality of the substrate.

5. Part size

Part dimensions, tolerances and dimensions can be marked through drawings to facilitate quotation, so the most effective production method can be selected. In general, tighter tolerances are more costly due to other complexities in the manufacturing process.

6. Environmental conditions

Our film coating is very durable. However, continuous exposure to moisture and extreme temperatures will change the performance of the coating over time. Temperature changes will change the thickness and refractive index of the coating. Ensure that the operating temperature is specified so that the coating can be designed to give the best performance in this temperature range.

7. Quantity

The size of the coating stroke and the size of the part can help determine the cost of thin film coating. Many coating plants have limited coating capacity, only focus on specific coatings, or do not provide technical assistance at all to help with coating design. Therefore, specific paint design and production quantity will be more suitable for specific suppliers. At the same time, it provides prototype operation and mass production.

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