Light Diffuser With Controlled Divergence
Original Publication Date: 1986-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-09
Light diffusers can be fabricated using the newly developed gradient-index planar microlens technology, much like "fly's eye" lens arrays have been used in the past. Currently, these graded index planar microlenses are being fabricated only in fiber-optic sizes and are arranged in very orderly patterns. If the distributed index microlenses are arranged randomly or are closely spaced or are made to over lap, efficient extended light sources of controlled numerical aperture (N.A.) can be formed. Fig. 1 is a cross-sectional view of a typical gradient index microlens 16 with collimated incident light 12 and converging output light 14. Plate 10 has polished flat surfaces 18, 20 and ion diffused regions 16 forming imbedded gradient index lenses of a diameter typically on the order of about 100 microns to about 2 millimeters.