Chemical polishing for precision optics

The surface finish of precision optics affects the quality of the optical functionality significantly. Rough surfaces lead to undesirable effects, thus reducing the efficiency of precision optics and reduce dramatically the imaging properties of the entire optical system.

Highly engineered tools with ultra-precision tool inserts ensure high quality standards of precision optics in injection moulding process. In cooperation with the Rhine-Waal University we developed a chemical polishing method to optimize the surface finish.

The technology of chemical polishing based on the surface-tension-effect. Defined partial pressure and temperature conditions liquefied the near-surface layer of the precision optics. The effect of the surface tension creates a nearly flat surface. Because only a very thin layer near the surface is liquefied, a high dimensional accuracy is given.

Manufacturing prototypes the innovative process reveals the economic and qualitative advantages. The surface roughness is created up to a certain precision by using diamond turning machinery. Afterwards the chemical polishing optimizes the surface quality. The cost- and time-intensive diamond-turning machining of prototypes is reduced by factor 3 using the chemical polishing.