Infrared Optics



  • Cost effectiveness - Molded infrared optics enable low cost, high volume production for the growing IR camera and sensor market
  • Higher quality - Aspheres, the gold standard for optics, provide quality optical systems for both imaging and laser delivery applications and are easy to manufacture in volume, via molding.
  • Superior performance - Chalcogenide glasses have superior thermal performance compared to other infrared materials and can be used in environments up to 130°C with much smaller focal shifts and consistent transmission.

Molded aspheric lenses have revolutionized the digital camera markets by allowing large volumes of high performance aspheric optics to be produced at a low cost. This technology has been limited to visible and near-infrared wavelengths, due to the crystalline structure of most infrared optical materials. Advances in chalcogenide materials have enabled compression molding for mid- and long-wavelength infrared (MWIR & LWIR) optics in a process similar to visible molded lenses. LightPath’s Molded Infrared Optics technology enables high performance, cost-effective infrared aspheric lenses that do not rely on traditional diamond turning or lengthy polishing methods.

Utilizing aspheric optics to reduce the number of lenses required for thermal imaging systems is a common practice. Traditional Germanium or Zinc Selenide aspheres are manufactured by diamond turning, which is a time-consuming and expensive process. Diamond turned lenses are made one at a time and the lenses suffer from variations in surface figure resulting in variations of performance from lens to lens. The infrared optics molding process allows lenses to be manufactured in high volume with a highly repeatable, consistent performance.

Diffractive features are typically added to infrared aspheres to allow for sophisticated beam shaping or achromatization over a range of wavelengths. With LightPath’s molding technologies, these features are molded directly into the surfaces of the lens.

LightPath is a pioneer in the development, design and manufacturing of infrared optics made from molded chalcogenide glass. Our high volume production experience brings expertise and knowledge to your project as quantities for infrared optics continue to grow.

Infrared Collimating Lenses Thermal Imaging Assemblies
  • High numerical aperture for maximum collection efficiency
  • Compact, single lens design
  • Diffraction limited performance
  • Molded lenses using high-quality chalcogenide glass
  • Provides wavelength range of 8 μm - 14 μm
  • Passive athermalization for -40°C to +85°C

Related Resources


Infrared Optics Brochure


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