Bespoke Ordering Available
Knight Optical specialises in aspherical optics, offering custom aspherical lenses in Schott (or equivalent) glass types, as well as in plastic and infrared materials such as germanium and zinc selenide. Our aspheric lenses are tailored to your specific requirements.
At Knight Optical, a leader in aspherical optics, we offer:
- Plastic aspheric lenses, which are a budget-friendly solution. While they can be mass-produced, it’s important to note the surface quality may be slightly reduced compared to our premium aspherical lenses. A significant advantage of these injection-moulded aspheres is the option to add a flange, simplifying system assembly. Our stock includes plastic aspherical lenses with focal lengths ranging from 3.5mm to 85mm, catering to diverse requirements. We also offer anti-reflective coated plastic aspheric lenses in a range of wavelengths.
- For those prioritising surface perfection, our high precision moulded aspherical lenses are meticulously polished to meet exacting customer specifications, ensuring optimal clarity and performance.
- We also proudly stock fire-polished aspheric lenses renowned for their vast aperture. These are particularly suited for light-collecting applications, making them the preferred choice for condenser lenses in LED-based projects.
- For the utmost in precision and quality, our diamond-turned aspherical lens is the go-to option. These are specially designed for infrared optical components, maintaining impeccable clarity and focus.
- We also offer a wider range of custom lenses.
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Optical Properties of Aspherical Lenses
An aspherical lens element is used to correct for spherical aberrations, where the converging rays from a lens do not have a common focal point. This is an issue often seen in traditional spherical lenses.
Please find our typical manufacturing capabilities for aspherical lenses below, however, we are always looking to expand and work with our customers on achieving their specifications, so please do not hesitate to contact our technical sales team for further information and guidance on your enquiry.
|3mm to 150mm+
|< 3 arcminutes
|< 1 fringe
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Advantages of Using Aspherical Lenses in Optical Systems?
Aspherical lenses have many properties that often make them a preference in an optical system. Firstly, by shaping the surface to a more complex curvature, and not a traditional spherical surface, aberrations within the system can be minimised – especially spherical aberration, as well as coma and astigmatism. In a traditional lens system utilising spherical lenses multiple lenses are often required to reduce the aberrations that one aspheric lens can achieve. This allows for a more compact design, as fewer optical elements are needed.
How Does Aspherical Glass Differ from Spherical Glass?
An aspheric lens and a spherical lens are optical elements with different types of surface curvatures. A spherical lens has a surface that forms part of a sphere and the curvature is constant across the whole surface. An aspherical lens has a curvature that varies across the surface, defined by a sag equation, which allows for more flexibility in the lens design to optimise the performance of the lens for a specific application.
What is an Aspherical Lens Element and How Does it Work?
An aspherical lens element has a more complex surface curvature compared to a traditional spherical lens, whose surface is part of a perfect sphere. This deviation from a sphere allows for correction of optical aberrations, such as spherical aberration, within the optical system, as the light rays are focused to a more precise point. This occurs as the curvature changes from the centre point and therefore as does the refraction of light through the surface, allowing the rays to focus more tightly. This surface curvature is defined by a sag equation and produces a sharper and improved image quality.
Where are Aspherical Lenses Most Commonly Used?
Aspherical Lenses are used in a multitude of applications where factors such as image quality, compact design, and reduced aberrations are fundamental. Applications include telescopes, laser systems, medical imaging, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets, defence and aerospace, and automotive imaging systems.
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Reduced weight and costs
Using aspherical lenses can streamline optical systems, eliminating the necessity for multiple lenses. This not only trims down the system’s weight but also results in significant cost savings.
Surface deviation with rotational symmetry
The aspheric lens element profile is defined by a sag equation. It’s vital to understand that even though this aspherical optics design deviates from the traditional spherical surface, it maintains rotational symmetry, ensuring consistent performance.
Achromatic options available
Knight Optical is proficient in crafting achromatic aspherical lenses that offer superior colour correction. By using aspherical optics, we ensure clarity and precision in every lens.
Imaging systems, particularly those employing CCD/CMOS image sensors, greatly benefit from the precision and clarity offered by aspheres.
Microscope objective lenses designed with aspherical lens elements boast a more compact design, offering a distinct size advantage over traditional spherical counterparts.
Laser beam shaping
Using the capabilities of aspherical lenses, laser beam shaping achieves unparalleled focus and direction, ensuring optimal energy distribution and enhanced performance in applications.
Fibre optic applications
By using aspherical lens elements, fibre optic applications experience improved signal clarity and transmission efficiency, making them ideal for high-bandwidth data communication networks.
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With our in-house state-of-the-art metrology laboratory you can be confident that your optical components will meet your requirements. You can find out more about our testing facilities here.
Operating for over 30 years
Knight Optical has been operating for over 30 years, with our managing director Colin Overton at the helm. Over this time, we have become a global leader in the production and distribution of scientific optical components and bringing quality into focus for all of our products and services that we provide.