What Are Aspheres? Utilizing Aspheres In Optical Systems

Author: Bryan Ng – Marketing Manager

Editor: Qu Yingli – R&D Director

Published on:

Last edited:

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Aspheric lenses, also known as aspheres, have emerged as a key player in optics, reshaping the way we perceive and capture the world. Unlike traditional spherical lenses, aspheres introduce a new level of precision and clarity in optical design.

1. What are Aspheres?

Aspherics deviate from the symmetrical shape of a sphere. Unlike spherical lenses, which have a uniform curvature, aspheres boast varying curvatures across their surface.

Aspheres & Spherical Lens Diagram
Figure 1: Aspherical Vs. Spherical Lens

Aspherics leverage advanced mathematical functions to achieve their unique shapes. By carefully calculating the curvature at different points, optical engineers can optimize the lens for specific applications, reducing distortions and enhancing overall image quality.

2. Benefits of Using Aspheres

The advantages of incorporating aspheric lenses into optical systems are manifold. First and foremost, aspherics allow more efficient correction of optical aberrations, minimizing spherical aberrations, and ensuring clearer and more accurate imaging, thereby improving performance.

Aspherics also contribute to reducing the size and weight of optical systems, making them particularly valuable in compact devices such as cameras and smartphones. Additionally, these lenses enhance light-gathering efficiency, leading to brighter and more vivid images.

Aspherics also pack their powerful punch into smaller packages, reducing the bulk of laser systems and imaging devices. Think handheld laser scanners mapping entire buildings with pinpoint accuracy, or miniature endoscopes navigating tight spaces within the human body, all made possible by the compact wonder of aspheres. The science behind aspheres opens the door to a myriad of possibilities in fields ranging from photography, astronomy, and laser applications to medical imaging.

3. Aspheres Applications Across Industries

3.1 Medical Imaging

Medical Optical Imaging
Bio-Medical Imaging

Aspheric lenses find applications across diverse industries, showcasing their versatility. In medicine, they play a crucial role in endoscopes and medical imaging devices, providing clinicians with clearer visuals for diagnostics.

3.2 Telescopes

Astronomers benefit from the precision of aspheres in telescopes, allowing for detailed observations. Furthermore, the lenses are integral to the development of high-performance cameras, ensuring professional photographers capture moments with unparalleled clarity.

3.3 Laser Applications

Focusing Lens - Glass Aspheric Lens
Wavelength Opto-Electronic Laser Aspheric Lens

Aspheres can focus laser beams into ultra-precise, ultra-thin lines, perfect for laser cutting intricate designs or welding microscopic components. Imagine surgery robots wielding aspheric-guided lasers for delicate, minimally invasive procedures, or laser printers etching masterpieces with astonishing detail.

Diameter Tolerance: ±0.01mm
Thickness Tolerance: ±0.01mm
Focal Length Tolerance: ±1%
Centration: < 1 arc min
Clear Aperture: >90%
Irregularity P-V: <0.15µm
Surface Quality: 40/20 60/40
AR Coating: R<0.2% per surface @ 1030-1090nm
Material: Fused Silica, Suprasil 313, Corning 7980, Si, Ge, ZnS, ZnSe, Chalcogenides
Coating: As per the requirement

Specifications 1: Wavelength Opto-Electronic Laser Aspheric Lens

Part NumberWavelength (nm)EFL (mm)Dia (mm)MaterialET (mm)CT (mm)BFL (mm)
LFAS-35-40-ET5.43 *NEW*107540.035.0Fused Silica5.4313.630.6
LFAS-35-50-ET3.82 *NEW*107550.035.0Fused Silica3.8210.242.2
LZA-25.4-12.7Uncoated12.725.4Zinc Selenide
LZA-25.4-25.4Uncoated25.425.4Zinc Selenide
LZA-25.4-50.8Uncoated50.825.4Zinc Selenide

Table 1: Wavelength Opto-Electronic Laser Aspheric Lenses

Molded Optics Molded Aspheric Lens
Wavelength Opto-Electronic Molded Glass Aspheric Lenses

Wavelength Opto-Electronic offers molded glass aspheric lenses in a variety of focal lengths. These infinite conjugate aspheric lenses can be used to either collimate a laser diode or other point source. As a laser diode collimator, these molded aspheres are designed to produce a collimated single-mode beam with low wavefront error.

Part No.EFL (mm)NAOD (mm)WD (mm)Design WL (nm)MaterialAR Coating
*(-A,- B, -C)
LMAS-3.0-, B, C
LMAS-4.5-2.752.750.644.501.50830D-ZLAF52LAA, B, C
LMAS-6.32-, B, C
LMAS-6.35-6.436.430.436.354.70830D-ZK2NA, B, C
LMAS-9.94-, B, C
LMAS-8.0-11.1811.180.318.009.69635D-ZK2NA, B, C
LMAS-6.32-13.8513.850.186.3312.10650D-ZK3A, B, C
LMAS-8.0-22.5822.580.158.0021.25532D-ZK2NA, B, C

Table 2: Wavelength Opto-Electronic Molded Glass Aspheres

Our precision molded aspheres are replicated from a long-lifetime mold for highly consistent performance. The replicated glass asphere molding process lends itself well to making lenses that are both high-performance and highly cost-effective.

Each molded asphere lens is AR coated to reduce reflections to the light source and increase transmission efficiency. Multilayer broadband AR coatings are available spanning three wavelength ranges: “A” (400-700nm), “B” (650-1100nm), and “C” (1050-1700nm).

  • Collimates or focuses laser light
  • Ideal for laser diode and fiber modules
  • High-NA to capture the full LD fast axis
  • Variety of focal lengths offered

3.4 Consumer Electronics

Autonomous Vehicle Application
Autonomous Vehicle Scanning

Aspheres are also used in consumer electronics such as phone cameras and LiDAR for autonomous vehicles. Wavelength Opto-Electronic manufactures molded aspheres in either glass or plastic materials.

Dia Tolerance±0.015mm±0.005mm
Thickness Tolerance±0.03mm±0.005mm
Irregularity (P-V)1µm0.6µm
Centering Error1’
Surface Quality40-2020-10
Specifications 2: Wavelength Opto-Electronic Molded Aspheres for Consumer Electronics

4. Looking for a Reliable Aspheres Supplier?

While aspheric lenses offer remarkable benefits, their design and production present unique challenges. Wavelength Opto-Electronic has precision manufacturing processes required to achieve the intricate shapes demanded by aspheric designs. Our state-of-the-art facilities including CNC machining and diamond turning, have facilitated the production of high-quality aspheres, driving innovation in the optical industry.

ToleranceStandardPrecisionHigh Precision
MaterialsGlass: BK7, Fused Silica, Fluoride
Crystal: ZnSe, ZnS, Ge, GaAs, CaF2, BaF2, MgF2, Si, Chalcogenide
Metal: Cu, Al
Plastic: PMMA, Acrylic
Diameter RangeMinimum: 10mm, Maximum: 200 mm
Diameter Tolerance±0.1mm±0.025mm±0.01mm
Center Thickness Tolerance±0.1mm±0.05mm±0.01mm
Sag Tolerance±0.05mm±0.025mm±0.01mm
Max Sag Measurable25 mm Max25 mm Max25 mm Max
Aspheric Irregularity (P-V)3µm1µm<0.06µm
Radius Tolerance±0.3%±0.1%0.01%
RMS Surface Roughness20 A°5 A°2.5 A°
Surface Quality80-5040-2010-5
Specifications 3: Wavelength Opto-Electronic Aspheres Manufacturing Capabilities

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