Precision Optical Components and Systems

Fraunhofer IOF develops and manufactures optical components and systems based on metal materials, ceramics, or optical glasses.

Depending on the addressed wavelength, diffraction limited optics for infrared to EUV are fabricated, integrated, and characterized using ultra-precise diamond machining as well as different shape correction and polishing processes, such as Magnetorheological Finishing (MRF) or Chemical Mechanical Polishing (CMP).

Diamonds are used to produce metal optics at Fraunhofer IOF. The scientists exploit the mechanical and thermal properties of diamond to produce metallic mirrors, gratings and plastic-based lens arrays. The creation of reflecting optics is already achieved in the first processing step. Complex surfaces such as aspheres and optical freeform surfaces can be generated simply and with ultra-precise accuracy. Numerous developments for single mirrors and mirror systems for telescopes and spectrometers for use in space, for terrestrial astronomy applications, for imaging optics in laser technology or mirror systems for lithography are realized.





  • Diamond turning
  • Servo-assisted turning (STS and FTS)
  • Diamond milling
  • Ultra-precise planing
  • Ultra-precise grinding


Our work

  • Metallic mirrors
  • Gratings
  • Free-form elements
  • Telescopes & spectrometers


Technical equipment

At the present time, five modern ultra-precision turning, milling, planning and grinding machines for the production of precision optics made of metallic and polymer materials are available. This technological basis and the latest scientific investigations at Fraunhofer IOF enable the creation of off-axis aspheres with a size of 450 mm x 300 mm and on-axis mirrors of up to 650 mm diameters with diffraction-limited quality for applications in the UV, VIS and NIR spectral range.