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New edge-blackening techniques for refractive optical elements



France, C.; Gee, A.E.:
Specification, production, and testing of optical components and systems
Bellingham, Wash.: SPIE, 1996 (Europto series)
ISBN: 0-8194-2160-X
International Symposium on Optical Systems and Production <1996, Glasgow>
Fraunhofer IOF ()
airbrush; antireflection; coating; edge blackening; false light; light absorbing

There is a trend in the optical industry to automate the edge-blackening of optical components. The goal of edge-blackening is to coat the areas outside the functional region of optical components, namely the peripheral areas including the surface edge or "diaphragm" and apertures, with light absorbing, index-matched material to minimise scattering light. The common method today is the manual application with brush or ink-writer of quick-drying liquid pigmented synthetic resin. The lenses are fitted at a rotary table with a vacuum-pump or with plug-in socket. The increasing diversity of components and the decreasing quantity of batch size are a considerable disadvantage inhibiting the automation. Another problem is the use of a high number of lacquers with different or partly unknown properties, due to varying chemical bases. There were developed some automatic techniques to black the optical components: airbrush, microdispensation, application by a canula. The optical and mechanical p roperties of the lacquer were investigated.