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01-27-2009, SCHOTT North America, Inc.

SCHOTT’s New Glass Diffractive Optical Elements (DOEs) enable Homogeneous Intensity Distribution in Rectangular Laser Beam Shapers

Precision Glass Molding Mass Production Process Produces DOEs with More Laser Durability, Lower Scattering Losses than Polymer DOEs

January 27, 2009 (at SPIE Photonics West- San Jose, Calif.) — SCHOTT Advanced Optics (Booth #809) presents new Diffractive Optical Elements (DOEs) for laser beam shaping applications, which can be mass-produced by a new precision molding process. This new SCHOTT process has been adapted from the high precision glass molding used for the production of aspherical lenses.

DOEs are needed for handheld pico-projectors, medical lasers and other devices that require rectangular laser intensity distribution in a compact size.

Gaussian vs. Rectangular Laser Beam Distribution

DOEs use diffraction to transform standard Gaussian shaped laser beam distributions into a rectangular shape. SCHOTT has now designed and manufactured DOEs with only a weak dependency on wavelengths and beam width variations.

The new research, which was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, demonstrates that manufacturers can now affordably use optical glass DOEs in their beam shapers to replace polymer DOEs. Optical glass DOEs provide better laser durability, lower scattering losses and higher temperature, moisture and chemical resistance than polymer DOEs.

“Glass DOEs provide significant advantages over polymer DOEs. However, until recently no mass production process for glass DOEs was available to allow their use in mini projectors, medical lasers and other devices,” said Helge Vogt, Product Manager for Precision Molding at SCHOTT Advanced Optics. “Due to the new process we are now able to provide large quantities of customized DOEs"


SCHOTT is a technology-driven, international group that sees its core purpose as the lasting improvement of living and working conditions through special materials and high-tech solutions. Its main areas of focus are defense, household appliance industry, pharmaceutical packaging, optics and opto-electronics, information technology, consumer electronics, lighting, automotive engineering and solar energy.

SCHOTT has a presence in close proximity to its customers through highly efficient production and sales companies in all of its major markets. The company has approximately 17,000 employees producing worldwide sales of approximately $3 billion. In North America, SCHOTT’s holding company SCHOTT Corporation and its subsidiary SCHOTT North America, Inc. and their affiliates employ about 2,500 people in 13 production operations with 4 sales offices.

The company’s technological and economic expertise is closely linked with its social and ecological responsibilities.
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