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OSE6265 - Optical Systems Design

Design principles of lens and mirror optical systems; evaluation of designs using computer techniques.

Lens design used to be a skill reserved for a very few professionals. They used company proprietary optical design and analysis software which was resident on large and expensive mainframe computers. Today, with reasonably priced commercially-available optical design software and powerful personal (and portable) computers, lens design tools are accessible to the general optical engineering community. Optical design is therefore a strong component of a well-rounded education in optics, and a skill valued by industries employing optical engineers.

A Modern UV Micro-lithography Lens


  • Geometric Optics (OSE5203¬†or the equivalent)
  • Graduate Standing
  • Consent of the Instructor

Course Description

Design principles of lens and mirror optical systems; evaluation of designs using computer techniques. The lectures include an introduction to optical system design, methods of lens design, optimization, paraxial layout, achomatization methods, Petzval curvature, 3rd and higher order optical aberrations, and image quality metrics.

The design principles covered in the lectures include: lens bending, stop shifts, element splitting, color correction, aberration balancing, field flattening, aspherics, and the proper use and construction of the merit function.

Of equal importance to the design principles covered in the text are the analytical tools used to determine the quality of the design.


Introduction to Lens design: With Practical ZEMAX Examples by Joseph M. Geary Willmann-Bell, Inc (2002)

Course Outline

  1. Introduction to Lens Design
    1. Conventions and Aspheres
    2. araxial Ray trace Techniques
    3. Stops and Pupils
    4. Glass and the Landscape Lens
    5. Aberrations and Image Quality Criteria
    6. Solves and Merit Functions
    7. Optimization Techniquesv
  2. Methods of Lens Design
    1. Lens Splitting and Lens Bending,
    2. Achromatism and Aberration Balancing
    3. Using Symmetry and Introducing Air Spaces
  3. Optical Design Exercises
    1. The Achromatic Lens, French Landscape Lens, Microscope, Apochromat
    2. Eyepiece Design, Field Lenses and Windows, Mirrors and Corrector Plates
    3. Telescopes, Celor Lens, Petzval Lens, Triplett, Telephoto Lens, Null Lens Design