Design and fabrication of a micro Alvarez lens array with a variable focal length
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A 5 × 5 micro Alvarez lens array mold was fabricated using a 5-axis ultraprecision diamond machine and an Alvarez lens array was manufactured by injection molding process. Unlike conventional processes for asymmetrical element fabrication such as small tool grinding, this research demonstrates slow tool servo broaching process that allows the entire Alvarez lens array to be accurately machined on a metal mold in a single operation. To further reduce manufacturing cost, injection molding was used to fabricate the Alvarez lens arrays. The mold and molded lenses were both measured using an optical profiler. All measured profiles showed a good agreement with design and surface roughness also indicated an optical surface finish. The functionality of the molded polymeric lens arrays was achieved when the focal lengths were varied by laterally translating the molded Alvarez lens array pair. This research is a demonstration of the capability of fabricating complex optics using the same approach.