The AM-OPTICS project has set itself the goal of realizing functional optical components by means of additive manufacturing, a process that offers highly considerable design freedom. The main areas of focus will be on achieving an extremely light construction, and on incorporating cavities for cooling purposes. The partners involved in the project are specialists in their technical fields and can assist with the entire process chain from design right through to manufacturing and surface finishing. In the course of the project, three different demonstrators for laser material processing, EUV lithography, and aerospace will be developed and tested. The broad range of experience gained from this will demonstrate the potential and level of innovation of the additive manufacturing process, thereby strengthening our leading position in the high-tech market for optical components.
The "Ultrafast Optics" working group of the lnstitute of Applied Physics (lAP) conducts research into the underlying physical effects and applications for highintensity laser pulses in the area of laser material processing. This includes, amongst other things, the following topics: Additive manufacturing using ultrashort laser pulses, the creation of functional 3D elements, for example waveguides, fiber Bragg gratings, and nanogratings, as well as cutting and welding of arbitrary material systems. The IAP has a multitude of USP laser systems (spectral range: UVMIR) at its disposal to carry out this work, as well as a variety of different characterization methods, for example pump-probe setups or time-resolved Raman and THz spectroscopy.
Pleiger Laseroptik is an independent company in the Pleiger Group and has its headquarters in Witten, Germany. lts lines of business are the manufacture of optical coatings and optics for the entire spectral range. Pleiger Laseroptik produces HR coatings for the UV, VlS, NlR, and lR wavelength ranges on metals (Cu, Al, brass, Be), semiconductors (Si, Ge), and all common glasses and SiC, as well as AR coatings for the NIR and lR wavelength ranges. lts metal and glass polygon coatings are used, amongst other things, for measurement equipment and laser material processing.
ARGES offers a versatile applicable range of scan heads, as well as individual, customized designs and the realization of complete laser-subsystems. Supportively to an in-house department for mechanical engineering, software and hardware development and production, ARGES provides application and material science laboratories. Therewith it is possible to accompany the customers in demanding projects with specific sampling and material analysis from the beginning on and to develop custom-fit solutions to the required application. The ARGES laser scanning systems are used in the micro and macro laser processing in a variety of fields and industries, e. g. in Additive Manufacturing applications.
The Fraunhofer lnstitute of Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (Fraunhofer IOF) develops innovative optical systems to control light from the point of generation to the application. Our service range covers the entire photonic process chain from optomechanical and optoelectronic system design to the manufacturing of customized solutions and prototypes.
The institute works in the five business fields of Optical Components and Systems, Precision Engineering Components and Systems, Functional Surfaces and Layers, Photonic Sensors and Measuring Systems, and Laser Technology.
A key area of focus of the institute is the manufacture of metal optics for use in state-of-the-art telescopes and spectrometers.
optiX fab GmbH is a spin-off of the Fraunhofer lnstitute of Applied Optics and Precision Engineering in Jena, Germany and was founded in 2012. optiX fab GmbH develops and manufactures customer-specific components for the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) spectral range, mainly for EUV lithography at a wavelength of 13.5 nm. The focus of its business activities in this area is on continuously meeting the growing demand for optical components for EUV lithography. ln addition to servicing the global semiconductor lithography market, optiX fab GmbH also manufactures components and systems for non-lithography applications in the 1 nm to 200 nm wavelength range.
The project partner Hentschel adds to the consortium an experienced manufacturer of functional layers, for example nickel-phosphorus layers, and has certifications in the field of aerospace engineering. These functional layers provide a means of mechanically finishing optical surfaces, thereby enabling the manufacture of optical components that are suitable for high-performance applications and have the lowest possible geometrical distortion.
Space for success – For decades now Jena-Optronik GmbH has been making space missions possible: enterprises that are as spectacular as they are successful. As vast as the universe is, there is no space for inaccuracy: sensors made in Jena keep satellites stable and on track. Visionary technology in the truest sense of the word: the optical instruments and opto-electronic components generate crucial data, helping to improve the quality of life on earth.
This research and development project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the “Innovations for Tomorrow’s Production, Services, and Work” Program and implemented by the Project Management Agency Karlsruhe (PTKA). The author is responsible for the content of this publication.