Phabulous – Manufacturing of large surfaces with free-form micro optics

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Offermans, Ton
Zanella, Frédéric
Basset, Guillaume
The need for free-form micro optics (FFMO) is constantly growing in well-established business segments including flat-panel displays, solid-state illumination, thin-film solutions for security/anti-counterfeiting applications, AR/VR wearables, and automotive headlights. However, the high access barriers to pre-commercial production capabilities prevent companies, especially SMEs, from exploiting the FFMO technology in commercial products and hinder further innovation. To lower the barrier to access FMOA technology, CSEM and their partners have established the PHABULOµS Pilot Line. PHABULOµS offers a unique one-stop shop for all requests for prototyping and manufacturing of free-form micro-optics services, from pilot to full-scale production. To mature the FMOA technology, the Pilot Line members have developed high precision origination techniques complemented by industry-fit, high-throughput up-scaling technologies for the cost-effective production of large-area FFMO. At the core of these technologies is Step & Repeat UV imprinting. The method has been successfully demonstrated in the PHABULOµS project for high precision upscaling of rigid small masters to flexible tools with 600 x 300 mm2 dimensions using a standard UV-NIL stepper modified for this purpose. Since there is currently no commercial Step & Repeat machine on the market able to replicate free-form micro-structures on large area with the required precision, CSEM has developed a high precision S&R UV-replication platform designed specifically to this purpose. Combined with the expertise in design and optical simulation, origination, and electroforming, the newly developed Step&Repeat and Roll-to-plate UV-imprinting capabilities at CSEM will strengthen the PHABULOµS Pilot Line offerings.
Publication Reference
SPIE Digital Optical Technologies 2023
European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme Photonics21