The demand for high-quality micro-optics is rising and becoming more complex as industries continually discover new uses for miniature optical devices. To meet this demand, the Gray Optics’ engineering team continually designs and sources micro-optics products that OEMs need most. Our advanced miniaturization and assembly techniques, for sub-millimeter-sized lenses, prisms, and other micro-optics contribute to greater optical technological capabilities worldwide.
What are Micro-Optics?
Micro-optics are extremely miniaturized optical components, with sizes ranging from about 200 micrometers to several millimeters. Past innovations in the micro-optics industry have led to a wide range of technologies that are commonplace in today’s economy, including non-invasive medical tools, cell phones, computer tablets, robotics equipment, sensors, and laser technologies.
Today, new micro-optics techniques push the limits of technology even further, being crucial to the development of 3D printers, biotech and genetic research, surgical imaging, dental applications, optometry and ophthalmology devices,, visual imaging devices, industrial engineering, and much more.
For both established and new applications, micro-optics systems most commonly require miniature, precision-engineered optical elements such as:
- Lenses & Lens Arrays
- Fiber Optics
- Mini-diffractive Optical Elements
Although some micro-optics devices are fabricated in ways very similar to their larger counterparts, more intricate micro-optics designs instead require the continual development of completely novel material fabrication and handling techniques.
To do so, micro-optics technicians have borrowed precision-engineering methods from microelectronics and optoelectronics manufacturing, combined with conventional optics fabrication methods. Additionally, totally new methods must also be invented as micro-optics design and fabrication challenges arise. As a result, the micro-optics industry relies on continual advancements in manufacturing techniques to keep pace with the advent of new micro-optics products and applications.
The Gray Optics team works diligently with our customers to solve difficult optical design challenges as they arise, and our multi-domain knowledge allows us to fulfill even the most complex orders while meeting extremely tight timelines.
Applications of Micro-Optics
The biomedical, robotics, life sciences, industrial, and other highly technical industries rely on precision micro-optics components made according to extremely tight tolerances and standards of quality. Micro-optics are necessary for a wide range of instruments involved in biotechnology research, industrial inspections, and medical imaging.
In the medical industry, micro-optics make a wide range of non-invasive equipment and techniques possible, including endoscopy, medical laser spectroscopy, robotic surgery, and other imaging devices. The biotech and bio-photonic industries have even more specialized needs, where the tightest possible specifications must be heeded to accurately function at the microscopic range.
Modern industrial procedures also makes a surprisingly high use of micro-optics for a variety of tasks, including:
- Quality control
- Product inspections
- Materials processing and measurement
- Visual oversight of procedures
- Process automation
The fabrication and movement of products in an industrial setting is made possible by advancements in micro-optics technology, including especially high-power lasers and robotic sensors.
Micro-optics devices are also found in everyday consumer devices at astonishing rates. The computer and cellular device market has contributed to a huge rise in demand for highly durable, small-precision lenses – and it’s a demand that continues to grow, as newer phone models are often designed with several cameras and cameras of increasingly high quality.
Micro-Optics from Gray Optics
Gray Optics drives the micro-optics industry forward with advanced product engineering, precision assembly, and metrology and testing services. Our exceptionally skilled engineers and program managers pull from a broad range of engineering talents and experience to deliver ground-breaking miniature optical technologies. We push the boundaries of the entire field of micro-optics while ensuring exceptional time-to-market speeds for our customers. To learn more, contact Gray Optics or request a quote today.