Micro-Optics: Manufacturing, Testing and Characterization Processes

Micro-optics has opened up a new world of optics for people today. They are not just the basis of modern high-tech microelectronics, but are can successfully produce creative solutions by rightfully combining the traditional optical technologies with its modern counterpart. The manufacturing process of micro-optics includes advanced light use and cutting-edge optical features and functionality. This technology helps to create customized solutions to meet your customer requirements, easily and quickly.

There are companies that produce micro-optic products offering excellent performance and leveraging the state of the art fabrication technologies. These products help to meet specific needs of customers and covers fast and flexible prototyping to large-scale production of diffraction, refractive and hybrid micro-optics. Use of deep UV and long wave infrared is also noted.

One of the most popular manufacturing processes is wafer-based. It is a standard technology used in the semiconductor industry. Experts believe for manufacturing high-quality products, wafer-based microlens technology is most hopeful. It uses processes like resist coating, lithography, reactive ion etching, and more. You can use this technology to produce 10 microns to 2mm diameter as well as aspherical lens with outstanding uniformity and right lateral positions.

One of the main areas of concern for micro-optics part is the correct choice of manufacturing process. In addition, for testing, people must take special care. Due to small size of microlens openings, there is limitation of measurement accuracy by fringes number and sampling accuracy. However, the current scenario doesn’t offer proper testing and characterization. Testing equipment in the semiconductor industry or test equipment from traditional optical manufacturing is not suitable for these kind of products and services.

Wafer-based technology uses standard semiconductor rules and apparatus. Actually, the semiconductor industry is the leader with high amount of investment made in high-tech modern tools and apparatus. One of the prime benefits of manufacturing micro-optics is the use of all equipment that the semiconductor industry uses for its own needs. So it is quite cost-effective. Moreover, since all processes depend on standard technologies of the semiconductor industry, so quality has nothing to do with your budget.

However, one area of concern is the use of instruments for testing microlenses. It is still outdated and not developed for ensuring high quality and accuracy. For example, if you want to test interferometrical of small microlens you have to combine interferometer with a microscope for adequate magnifying of observed fringe patterns. If you want to test large microlenses, you need more advanced, fast equipment which is now unavailable. Since the micro-optics industry is still very new, this lack of adequate instruments is serving as a constraint to manufacturing, testing and characterization.

Research institutions or the manufacturing companies themselves develop most of test instruments that we use in the micro-optics industry these days. Since this industry is not yet popular, manufacturers built instruments in small quantity only. Therefore, the lack of instruments is a burning problem in this field. In the manufacturing phase, process optimization is directly dependent on the ability to measure products quality.

Singh Vikash is an optical expert having years of experience in writing on topics such as optical manufacturing and recently on micro optics manufacturing, testing and characterization. In this article, he discusses about wafer-based micro optics manufacturing process and its drawbacks.

Do You Know When to Get an Oil Change?

If you fall into the category of drivers who allow a windshield reminder sticker to dictate when they get an oil change, current expertise recommends you drop that habit. Conversely, it is advised you heed the automobile maker’s advised service intervals. For those driving modern cars, it is advised that you rely upon the car’s oil life monitoring system to alert you when it is time for a change.

The Manual Is Your Guide

In the maintenance section of your owner’s manual, there is an oil change information section customized for your vehicle. Commonly, the manual will list two service schedules, based on what they deem “normal” and “special” driving conditions. Decide which description best fits you and follow the advised schedule. If you are unable to locate your owner’s manual, chances are you can find one online or even refer to Edmund’s Maintenance Schedules, whose database includes makes as far back as 1980.

Trust Your Monitor

Recently, manufacturers have been installing oil life monitors, which are based on mileage and alert the driver via a maintenance light when the vehicle reaches that predetermined mileage range. In more advanced versions, the monitors are continuously tracking information via sensors located throughout the car and then utilize an algorithm to predict your oil life. Depending on your driving conditions and behaviors, the frequency of your car’s lubricant can vary daily. All guesswork is eliminated about when your next tune up is and you are free to just drive until the maintenance light alerts you. It is important to remember that these systems are created to work with the factory-recommended brands. As high-tech as they may seem, they are not advanced enough to distinguish if you choose to upgrade to a higher brand. So, it actually pays to save your money and rely on the factory fill.

Obtain an Oil Analysis

Every mechanic and dealership service crew may seem to have their own rationales for their recommendations. The most reliable way to determine the life of your vehicle is to obtain an oil analysis. This will spell out the conditions of your fluids, as well as unveil any issues your engine may be having. Once your results come back from the lab, you will receive recommendations on just how far you can go between service appointments.

Make the Switch to Extended-Life Oils

Companies are now making extended-life oils available, guaranteed to last until the mileage notated on the bottles, with some as high as 15,000 miles. However, it should be noted that these are recommended for automobiles that are beyond their warranty limits. In fact, most manufacturers will deem your warranty void if you fail to adhere to their recommended service schedules.

There is no absolute answer to the question of how often a driver should obtain an oil change. Although the average suggestion is every three to five thousand miles, there are many factors that can affect that estimate. If you happen to schedule your maintenance too early, you are only aiding in the health of your engine. The older the lubrication is, the harder your engine has to work to perform properly. Thus, your car burns more fuel. So, going in early only equates to you saving on gas mileage.