Development of gradient index microlenses for the broadband infrared range

Kasztelanic R., Filipkowski A., Pysz D., Nguyen H.T., Stepien R., Liang S., Troles J., Karioja P. and Buczynski R.

Optics Express

30(2), 2022, 2338-2352, 10.1364/OE.448461

The development of gradient index free-form micro-optic components dedicated to the mid-infrared range is challenging due to the lack of appropriate technology. We propose a method for developing gradient index components for broadband infrared range beyond the transmission window of silicate glass based on nanostructurization using a stack-and-draw fiber drawing technique. A proof-of-concept microlens is developed and verified experimentally in the wavelength range 1.5–4.3 µm. The microlenses are composed of a set of nanorods with a diameter of 940 nm made of a pair of SiO2-PbO-Bi2O3-Ga2O3 based glasses ordered into the preliminary calculated binary pattern. The pattern forms effectively continuous parabolic refractive index distribution for infrared range according to Maxwell-Garnett effective medium model. The development of individual microlenses with a diameter of 118 µm and focal length of 278 µm at the wavelength of 3.75 µm are reported. A large array of 737 microlenses with an individual diameter of 125 µm and focal length of 375 µm is also presented and analyzed.