Research ArticleOPTICS

3D printed gradient index glass optics

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Science Advances  18 Nov 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 47, eabc7429
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc7429


We demonstrate an additive manufacturing approach to produce gradient refractive index glass optics. Using direct ink writing with an active inline micromixer, we three-dimensionally print multimaterial green bodies with compositional gradients, consisting primarily of silica nanoparticles and varying concentrations of titania as the index-modifying dopant. The green bodies are then consolidated into glass and polished, resulting in optics with tailored spatial profiles of the refractive index. We show that this approach can be used to achieve a variety of conventional and unconventional optical functions in a flat glass component with no surface curvature.

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