Systems and Methods for Non-destructive Evaluation of Optical Material Properties and Surfaces


A team of Vanderbilt researchers has developed a novel system and method for non-destructive characterization of compound lenses. The approach uses optical coherence tomography and reflectance confocal microscopy to fully characterize lens geometry and glass materials, enabling accurate modeling of compound lenses.

Addressed Need

When designing optical imaging systems, companies must take special care to balance lens aberrations in order to optimize the point-spread function (PSF) and minimize field distortions. Aberrations and distortions are a result of both lens geometry and glass material, and due to manufacturing tolerances during lens production, the actual performance of optical systems is often worse than expected from the simulations used to design and model the system. The optical characterization technology developed at Vanderbilt provides non-contact measurement of physical lens parameters including surface curvatures, thickness, centration, and air-gap thickness, providing clear benefits to optical lens design and manufacturing.

Unique Features

  • Non-destructive and non-contact measurement technique
  • Full characterization of compound optical lenses
  • Useful when designing and manufacturing lenses

Technology Development Status

A prototype of the system has been built and tested. Measurement accuracy has been compared to existing metrology methods.

Intellectual Property Status

A patent application has been filed.

Licensing Contact

Philip Swaney

Tech ID:
Medical Imaging