Our work

Optical polishing technology

Optics Manufacturing supports in the development and production of optical components and optomechatronical systems and instruments. We advise our customers on manufacturability and manufacture prototypes or small series of optical components and assemblies. The polishing of optical materials is a key competence for the manufacturing of high quality optics. TNO possesses advanced equipment, expertise and a lot of experience in this field.

Optics Manufacturing is the center for optics manufacturing. We advise, conduct experimental research and make optical components using modern production processes and polishing technology designed by TNO itself. Polishing is one of our key technologies, which enables us to manufacture every form of optics. The degree to which this technology is mastered, determines the possible form, size, material choice and product quality. Our center offers a large diversity in manufacturing processes. Therefore, a multitude of forms like spherical, aspherical, cylindrical and free forms can be polished. For the polishing of optical surfaces Optics Manufacturing uses two different techniques: conventional and computer controlled polishing.

Conventional polishing

Conventional polishing is used when optical components are made on specification of the customer. The polishing process and the measurement possibilities are key in achieving the the requested quality. By using conventional polishing, different kinds of glass, ceramic, crystal and metal can be processed up to extremely high levels of optical quality. Advantages of polishing at Optics Manufacturing:

  • Collaboration of different areas of expertise: optical design, production and metrology
  • Highly skilled personnel for custom optical components, including the possibility for highly accurate manual corrections
  • Advanced metrology equipment for the optical qualification of spherical, aspherical and freeform optics
  • Continuous improvement and development of production processes
  • Assembly of optical systems (incl. optical contacting)
  • Grinding and polishing machines for production of optics up to 500 mm in diameter

Computer controlled polishing

In computer controlled polishing, a unique combination of polishing technology and contactless measurement is applied using NANOMEFOS. Optics Manufacturing. applies corrective polishing to aspheric and freeform surfaces by using robot polishing. Our polishing robot provides numerous possibilities for the grinding and polishing of different materials, among which are glass, zerodur, siliciumcarbide and molybdenum. Advantages of computer controlled polishing at Optics Manufacturing are:

  • Absolute surface shape measurement with NANOMEFOS up to 500 mm diameter, and measurement inaccuracy < 15 nm RMS (depending on geometry)
  • High shape accuracies (λ/10) combined with low roughness (1 nm Rq) for aspheric and freeform surfaces (depending on geometry and material)
  • Collaboration of the expertises optical design, production and metrology
  • Continuous improvement and development of robot polishing processes
  • Use of Zeeko IRP600 7-axis polishing robot for diameters up to 500 mm

Contact

Merijn Voets

  • optics
  • optics production engineering
  • optical manufacturing
  • optical measurements
  • optical coatings
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