ball lenses and half ball lenses
If you’re looking to improve your applications in the areas of endoscopy, optical communication, laser technology, barcode scanning, or preform molding for aspheric lenses, our ball lenses can help. Our team of professionals is committed to providing you with the best solution. We invite you to contact us today to discuss how we can assist you.
What is a ball lens
Key parameters of ball lenses
These parameters should be carefully considered during lens selection to ensure optimal lens performance in a specific application.
Diameter: The diameter of the ball lens significantly influences its back focal length and numerical aperture, thereby determining the lens’s overall optical performance.
Refractive Index: The refractive index of the material used to manufacture the ball lens also greatly impacts its back focal length and numerical aperture. It determines how much light is refracted or bent when passing through the lens.
Back Focal Length (BFL): This is a critical performance measure of a ball lens. It’s the distance from the surface of the lens to the point where collimated light is focused. The BFL is influenced by both the diameter of the ball lens and the refractive index of the lens material.
Numerical Aperture (NA): Numerical Aperture measures a lens’s light-gathering ability and resolution capacity. It’s a dimensionless number that is functionally related to the lens diameter and refractive index. For a ball lens, the numerical aperture can be high, which is beneficial for fiber coupling applications.
Acceptance Angle: This is the maximum angle from the optical axis at which light can enter the lens and still be transmitted through the lens. The acceptance angle is dependent on the numerical aperture of the lens.
Ball Lens Category
Our ball lenses are mainly classified according to materials, including optical glass ball lenses(CDGM, SCHOTT and other), sapphire ball lenses, quartz ball lenses, ruby ball lenses, high borosilicate ball lenses, silicon ball lenses, and other crystal materials. You can choose the material that best suits your application scenario.
Optical Galss Ball Lenses
Sapphire Ball Lenses
Ruby Ball Lenses
Quartz Ball Lenses
High Borosilicate Ball
Si Ball Lenses
From a shape perspective, our ball lenses can be classified into the following four types:
Full Ball Lenses
Half Ball Lenses
Hyper Hemispherical Lens
Micro Ball Lenses
Custom Ball Lenses And Half Ball Lenses
When it comes to the customization of ball lenses and half-ball lenses, various options allow you to tailor these optical components to your specific needs.
Material Choices: Select from a variety of optical materials to best suit your application. Opt for N-BK7(H-K9L) for broad spectral range applications, UV-grade fused silica for UV to NIR applications given its excellent solarization resistance, or consider sapphire for its high hardness and outstanding resistance to various environmental conditions. The choice of material is typically driven by factors such as the operating wavelength and environmental conditions of the application.
Size Adaptation: The diameter of ball lenses can be finely tuned from sub-millimeter dimensions to several millimeters, depending on your requirements. Half-ball lenses usually feature larger base diameters due to their hemispherical shape. The size of the lens directly influences the numerical aperture, thus affecting its light-gathering ability and depth of focus.
Sphericity & Surface Quality: Achieving high sphericity is crucial for ball lenses, as any deviation from a perfect sphere can lead to performance degradation. In addition, the surface quality—often specified by Scratch-Dig parameters—affects scattering and image clarity. For demanding applications, high precision in both sphericity and surface quality is paramount.
Coating Options: Various coatings can be applied to both ball lenses and half-ball lenses, depending on the requirements of the application. Anti-reflection coatings are commonly employed to minimize losses due to reflections and to enhance transmission, but other types, such as partial reflection or anti-scratch coatings, may also be applicable depending on your use-case.
Custom Mounting Solutions: Although it’s less common due to the typically small size of these lenses, custom features can be incorporated to facilitate mounting or integrating these lenses into a larger optical system. This could involve modifications to the lens shape or the inclusion of grooves or other physical characteristics.
By customizing these elements, you can design ball lenses and half-ball lenses that are optimally suited to your particular application. Please remember that the above choices can significantly influence the performance, lead time, and cost of these lenses.
Ball Lenses & Half Ball Lenses Applications
Ball lenses and half-ball lenses are critical components used in a variety of fields, including endoscopy, optical communication, laser technology, barcode scanning, and injection molding. Here’s a brief overview of their applications:
Endoscopy: In endoscopy, ball lenses and half-ball lenses are used to form miniature imaging systems. They provide high-quality images with minimal distortion and aberration due to their symmetrical geometry. These lenses help endoscopes provide high-resolution, real-time images of the internal organs or tissues, making it possible for doctors to accurately diagnose and treat conditions.
Optical Communication: Optical communication largely depends on precise manipulation and transmission of light. Ball lenses, and to a lesser extent half-ball lenses, are often used in optical fiber communication systems to couple light into and out of fibers. Due to their high numerical aperture, they allow a wide acceptance angle, which is beneficial for coupling efficiency.
Laser Technology: In laser systems, ball lenses can be used as focusing and collimating components. Their spherical design helps to maintain the integrity of the laser beam and ensure accurate directionality. They can focus laser beams to very small diameters, thus used in applications like laser cutting, engraving, and medical procedures.
Barcode Scanning: Barcode scanners often use ball lenses in their optical systems. The lenses serve to focus the scanning laser onto the barcode, ensuring that the laser can accurately read the barcode’s pattern. Due to their ability to collect and focus light from all directions, ball lenses are especially effective in this application.
Prefabricated Lenses for Injection Molding: Ball lenses and half-ball lenses can also be used as prefabricated lenses in injection molding processes. The lenses can be manufactured with precise specifications and then placed in an injection mold. The surrounding material is then injected around the lens, effectively embedding the lens in the final product. This allows for the production of complex optical systems in a cost-effective manner.
These applications are just a few examples of how ball lenses and half-ball lenses can be utilized. Their versatility and unique optical properties make them invaluable in numerous fields.
what makes us different
Why Choose Our Ball Lenses
Glass Ball Lens Standards
Case of 3mm ball lens with coating
1. Refractive index of alass ball material: 1.85 (H-ZLAF71)
2. Transmission >99.5% – triple coat (850nm: 1310nm – 1550nm)
3. Coating belt should be clear and visible for easy installation
4. Coating process must ensure that the ball does not rotate or shift
5. Coating requirements: 460 degrees for 10 minutes, then tested for 3 days at -45°C to +85°C with no peeling or change in optical curve
6. Delivery includes test report
Please check the coating above, triple coat @ (850nm: 1310nm – 1550nm), @ 850nm for spot coating, @ 1310-1550nm for band coating. Then what is the difference? In optical coating, band coating and spot coating are two common coating methods.
Band coating refers to coating within a certain wavelength range in the spectrum. Different wavelengths of light have different phase differences when propagating in a material, which can be used to modulate the phase of light by band coating technology to achieve control of light reflection, transmission, absorption and other properties. Band coating is widely used in optical instruments and devices, such as filters, polarizers, reflectors, etc.
Spot coating, on the other hand, refers to coating at a single wavelength. Spot coating technology can control the reflectivity and transmissivity of light, allowing light to reflect or transmit only within a certain wavelength range. Spot coating technology is widely used in laser and optical fiber communication fields.
In general, band coating and spot coating are two different optical coating methods, each applied to different optical devices with different functions and roles.
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FAQs About Ball Lenses
Ball and half-ball lenses are versatile optical components used in various industries. They excel in focusing and collimating light, playing a crucial role in fiber optics, endoscopy, and more. The following FAQs delve into their functions and applications.
Ball lenses have several advantages over other lenses, including their compact size, versatility, and ability to focus light to a point or create a collimated beam. They are widely used in a variety of applications due to these characteristics.
Yes, we can use the ball lens in high-power laser systems. However, high-power laser systems often require special lenses made from materials that can withstand the high temperatures and power levels generated by the lasers.
The numerical aperture of a ball lens, influenced by its size and the refractive index of the material, determines its light-gathering capability and depth of field.
The numerical aperture directly influences the acceptance angle of a ball lens, with a higher numerical aperture equating to a larger acceptance angle.
In telecommunications, ball lenses are integral for coupling light into and out of fibers, enhancing the efficiency of optical signal transmission.
The performance of a ball lens can be affected by the wavelength of light it interacts with, due to the wavelength-dependent refractive index of the lens material.
Ball lenses, due to their compact size and ability to focus light from all directions, are key components in the miniaturization of optical devices, such as endoscopes and barcode scanners.
In barcode scanning, ball lenses are used to focus the scanning laser onto the barcode, ensuring accurate reading of the barcode’s pattern.
Ball lenses are typically packaged and shipped in protective cases or boxes to prevent damage during transport. The packaging should be designed to protect the ball lens from physical harm, such as impact, and environmental factors, such as moisture and dust. The ball lenses should be handled carefully during packaging and shipping to prevent damage.
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