Binary Optics: A New Approach to Optical Design and Fabrication

Binary optics uses computer-aided design (CAD) tools and very-large-scale-integration (VLSI) electronic circuit manufacturing technology to create novel optical devices and to provide design freedom and new materials choices for refractive optical elements. With conventional optics, we polish a surface to the desired profile. With binary optics, we use high-resolution lithography (the design and replication process used in electronic circuit fabrication) to transfer a binary surface relief pattern to the optical element, and we etch this pattern into a surface using ion-beam etchers.

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