Financiering MZW OZR: Nano-optical surface finishing and sub-micron structuring of extreme materials for freeform optics

Project Details


The requested ultrasonic diamond tooling and laser-assisted diamond turning infrastructure consists of two major additions to our freeform optics pilot line which we use today for the prototyping of a.o. optical components with extreme finish for biophotonics, datacom, imaging, and space applications. These extensions will significantly broaden the range of materials that we can machine with our 5- axis ultraprecision diamond tooling machine, both for direct prototyping and for mould machining of freeform optics. Ultrasonic diamond tooling will enable us to directly machine steel (which is not possible with standard diamond tooling) to an optical surface finish with Ra=1-5 nm and 100nm peak-to-valley dimensional accuracy. It will also allow us to machine Inconel, which is a material that is highly suited for making mould inserts for our glass press moulding machine, since it is compatible with temperatures up to 600°C. With laser-assisted diamond cutting, we will have the unique capability of cutting brittle important optical materials like ZnS, ZnSe, Si and CaF2 with a significant reduction of sub-surface damage and surface roughness. This is enabled by the localized heating and softening of the tool contact region via laser radiation. Both additions to our freeform pilot line will allow to extend the range of research topics,
Effective start/end date24/04/2424/04/28

Flemish discipline codes in use since 2023

  • Optical physics not elsewhere classified


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