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Two-photon direct laser writing of ultracompact multi-lens objectives

Nature Photonics volume 10, pages 554560 (2016) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Current lens systems are restricted in size, shape and dimensions by limitations of manufacturing. Multi-lens elements with non-spherical shapes are required for high optical performance and to correct for aberrations when imaging at wide angles and large fields. Here we present a novel concept in optics that overcomes all of the aforementioned difficulties and opens the new field of 3D printed micro- and nano-optics with complex lens designs. We demonstrate the complete process chain, from optical design, manufacturing by femtosecond two-photon direct laser writing and testing to the application of multi-lens objectives with sizes around 100 µm, and validate their high performance and functionality by quantitative measurements of the modulation transfer function and aberrations. The unprecedented flexibility of our method paves the way towards printed optical miniature instruments such as endoscopes, fibre-imaging systems for cell biology, new illumination systems, miniature optical fibre traps, integrated quantum emitters and detectors, and miniature drones and robots with autonomous vision.

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Change history

  • 06 July 2016

    In the version of this Article originally published online, ref. 23 'Gissibl, T., Thiele, S., Herkommer, A. & Giessen, H. Sub-micrometre accurate free-form optics by three-dimensional printing on single-mode fibres. Nature Commun. 7, 11763 (2016)' was missing. This reference has now been added to the main text and the reference list and subsequent references have been renumbered in all versions of the Article.

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Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the DFG (SPP1391, FOR730 and GI 269/11-1), BMBF (13N10146, PRINTOPTICS), Baden-Württemberg Stiftung (Internationale Spitzenforschung II and Intelligente Optische Sensorik) and ERC (COMPLEXPLAS). We would like to thank B. Frank for performing atomic force microscope measurements and T. Mappes from Carl Zeiss AG for help with the lens characterization. We would like to thank M. Grauer for strong support.

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Affiliations

  1. 4th Physics Institute and Research Center SCoPE, University of Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 57, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany

    • Timo Gissibl
    •  & Harald Giessen
  2. Institute for Applied Optics (ITO) and Research Center SCoPE, University of Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 9, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany

    • Simon Thiele
    •  & Alois Herkommer

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Contributions

T.G., S.T. and H.G. conceived the concept. T.G. performed simulations, structural designs, direct laser writing and experimental characterization. S.T. and A.H. were responsible for optical and structural design. H.G. participated in planning the experiments and supervised the project. All authors participated in discussions and contributed to writing of the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Timo Gissibl.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2016.121

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