Digital 3D sensing is growing exponentially, based on the rapid adoption of depth perception and facial recognition in smartphones and the emergence of LiDARs in cars. The lenses in these 3D sensors rely on optical technologies optimized for visible light, with refractive indices that inherently increase lens size and reduce light collection.
3D sensing, however, is not performed with visible light, but in the near infrared (NIR) and shortwave infrared (SWIR). Norcon’s polymeric chalcogenide (Polycalc) optics are the first lens technology for NIR and SWIR 3D sensing. The chalcogen content of Polycalc raises the refractive index. The higher index doubles sensing range. Polycalc components can also decrease optical assembly sizes by 30% and cut their cost by as much as 50%. Moreover, Polycalc optics can be fabricated using wafer-level processes, allowing for rapid scaling.
1.72 index Polycalc NIR/SWIR lenses and diffuser
Polycalc-NIR 5 mm, f/2.2 lens