Micro Lens Array
Micro Lens Array (MLA) is an optical element with a number of microscopic lenses in size of micrometers to millimeters integrated. It has a wide range of applications including optical communication, illumination and adaptive optics.
Micro lens arrays are required to satisfy completely different characteristics, performance and specifications depending on the applications. For example, for optical communication, an individual lens of the array is expected to have its own optical system and form an array of lenses by integrating respective optical systems. In contrast, for illumination, the whole array is expected to have just one optical system.
We offer the most adaptive design and processing options for your application and requirements based on our extensive expertise and technology in optical design, ultra-precision processing of molds, and evaluation as well as metrology.
Key Features of Nalux Micro Lens Arrays
- Micro lens surface shapes: aspherical and freeform as well as spherical
- Any array shapes (circle, rectangle, hexagonal close-packed, etc.) on any substrate surfaces
- Small pitch and high N.A. micro lens arrays
- An array of up to hundreds of thousands micro lenses
- Double-faced micro lens arrays
- Decreased impact of light interference and diffraction by intentionally disordered periodicity
- Minimum variation by plastic injection molding
Application Examples of Nalux Micro Lens Arrays
Solid-state flash type LiDAR, which has no moving parts, attracts increasing interest in using it as a 3D sensor applied for Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) and industrial equipment. Flash type LiDAR senses 3D information including distance information by diffusing light into space and then making use of the difference in time for every reflected light to return from every direction.
This type of LiDAR diffuses light into space with an optical system where micro lens array is used for diffusion. However, it was faced with a problem that field of view is limited by light irradiation area. This is because light diffusing with micro lens array is difficult to increase the angle of divergence.
As a solution, Nalux has realized a super-wide-angle diffuser reaching more than 160° in divergence angle using a micro lens array with a wide tangent angle and unique technology to efficiently extract light from an optical element. In addition to increasing divergence angle, the diffuser allows us to increase light intensity of the top hat and regions where light reaches from wide exit angles. It leads to optimize irradiation intensity distribution.
This diffuser is one of the best for super-wide-angle space sensor for a wide variety of applications ranging from automotive applications such as recognition of ambient surrounding and driver monitoring system (DMS) to industrial equipment, household electrical appliances and devices for entertainment.
Diffusing coherent light sources including laser diode by means of micro lens array generates diffraction as a result of influence by a lens aperture size, and light and shade patterns due to light interference between lenses.
Nalux random micro lens array reduces the contrast of the light and shade pattern by intentionally destroying periodicity of lens pitch and lens segment size (Patent JP6664621).
For any solution to the light and shade pattern in your applications including intermediate image screen for laser head-up display and illumination optical system with laser light source, our Random MLA will help you solve your problems.
SUBARU Telescope, operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, is located on the summit of Maunakea, Hawaii, and has an aperture of 8.2 meters. Telescopes with such a large aperture achieve high resolution with assistance of adaptive optics, a system measuring and correcting air turbulence in real time, as they decrease resolution suffering from air turbulence.
Nalux micro lens array is used for a sensor (Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor) of Subaru Telescope, which observes air turbulence in real time.
Glass Micro Lens Arrays
Nalux mass-produces glass micro lens array as well as plastic micro lens array. Glass has lower thermal expansion coefficient than plastic, so it enables to realize a micro lens array with higher accuracy and smaller variation caused by temperature fluctuation. In particular, Nalux has achieved ±0.1um or smaller in accuracy of lens pitch (distance between lenses) by measuring and evaluating the lens pitch with high precision and accuracy. Nalux glass micro lens arrays will fit your applications which require high reliability or heat resistance including optical communication in the long-distance network systems.
Our glass micro lens array is being used in many applications including but not limited to optical communications, medical and industrial equipment.