MEF ESMobS – Even layered Structures for Micro optics of broad imaging Systems

Fraunhofer MEF-program

Duration: January 2016 – December 2017

Project “ESMobS” is focused on the development of solutions for imaging  methods e.g. in sensors and displays, following issues will be addressed:

  • Molded optical arrays with a good quality at affordable prices are not available for proposed optical imaging applications.
  • Aberrations in edge areas of the optics impair the imaging quality by directly mounted optical structures on the electronics.
  • Prevention of direct contact, in case of layers separated by air, will cause reflections in display or sensor optics.
  • Optical simulation results suggest, GRIN (gradient index) optics can avoid the edge imaging errors and are mountable on the electronics.
  • In the project, focal correction takes place in one or two anisotropic LC (liquid crystal) layers, which are mechanical stabilized by an ORMOCER® material with ITO (indium-tin-oxide) contacts.
  • Optical characterization of produced micro optics in terms of wavelength dependent focal point, lateral focal correction, aberration errors, etc. will demonstrate the proposed feasibility.

The extensive experience of the Vision & Imaging Technologies department in the field of 3D-display and imaging technologies will foster development of an adaptable LC-optic for sensors and displays.

ESMobS objectives

  • Development of a design and manufacturing technology for combining LC-based GRIN layers of different optical properties with additional functional optical layers.
  • Adaption of focal length of flat lens elements to particular imaging plane by two photon polymerization process (2PP) for GRIN optics
  • Reduction of related optical aberrations and Moirés

Solution approach

  • Improved LC layer model
  • Optical simulation and ray tracing of light distribution
  • 2PP-Printing in appropriate Ormocer™ material
  • Modelling and producing of special shaped electrodes
  • Scalable LC-lenses arrangement with tunable focal length

ESMobS project consortium

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute, HHI
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC


ESMobS is a joint research project within Fraunhofer HHI and ISC.

Target markets

  • Micro optics,
  • 3D displays,
  • 3D printing,
  • materials,
  • sensors