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MONOLITHIC COLLIMATOR

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000170046D
Publication Date: 2008-May-08
Document File: 7 page(s) / 50K

Publishing Venue

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Abstract

The present invention relates, in general, to optical devices. More specifically, the present invention relates to an improved design and construction of a monolithic collimator.

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MONOLITHIC COLLIMATOR

The present invention relates, in general, to optical devices. More specifically, the present invention relates to an improved design and construction of a monolithic collimator.

The present invention provides an improved design and construction of a monolithic collimator. In the new design, the free space in the optical path of a collimator is replaced by a solid optical medium such that the monolithic collimator provides two flat external solid surfaces for optical coupling with other optical devices. The new design prevents the entry of any undesirable particles in the optical path and thereby, improves the performance of the collimator assembly. Further, the monolithic collimator is inherently more stable than individual components mounted and held in a mechanical assembly.

Fig. 1A is a block diagram depicting a monolithic collimator 100 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Monolithic collimator 100 includes an optically-transmitting block 1, an optically-transmitting block 2, a collimator lens 102, and an optically-transmitting block 3. Monolithic collimator 100 provides two external solid surfaces “A” and “B” (as shown in the figure) for optical coupling with other optical devices.

The optically-transmitting blocks 1, 2, and 3, and collimator lens 102 are optically coupled to produce monolithic collimator 100. In accordance with various embodiments of the present invention, any known technique, such as epoxy bonding, frit bonding, diffusion bonding, optical contacting and so forth, may be used for optical coupling of optically transmitting blocks 1, 2, and 3, and collimator lens 102.

The optically-transmitting blocks 1, 2, and 3, hereinafter collectively referred to as optically-transmitting blocks, replace the free-space in the optical path of a collimator assembly including collimator lens 102. In accordance with various embodiments of the present invention, the optically-transmitting blocks may be fabricated using one or more transparent optical media, which include, but not limited to, optical materials such as glass, plastic, zinc selenide, zinc sulfide, and so on.

Collimator lens 102 is a bi-convex optical lens and may be fabricated using a suitable optical medium. Collimator lens 102 has a refractive index higher than the refractive indices of optically-transmitting blocks 1, 2, and 3. In an alternative embodiment of the present invention, collimator lens 102 is a suitable plano-concave lens or bi-concave optical lens and has a refractive index lower than the refractive indices of optically-transmitting blocks 1, 2, and 3. Although the present invention will be explained in detail in conjunction with various embodiments including plano-convex or bi-convex collimator lenses, various embodiments of the present invention are equally applicable to p...