New Techniques for Thermal Forming of Glass for High-Precision Optic

Representative image for thesis Tutor: Vincenzo Cotroneo
Master’s Thesis

The field of high-precision lightweight optics is critical for various applications including astronomy, space research, and adaptive optics.
A possible method to realize this kind of optics is thermal forming of glass, which enables the shaping of glass to a variety of shapes by replicating the shape of a "mandrel" with high fidelity. OAB has been a leader in high-precision astronomical optics for decades and significantly contributed to the advancement of the field, developing a deep knowledge of problems and techniques in the field, pioneering, among others, the technique of thermal forming and the related metrology and analysis techniques.
The proposed study aims to explore potential improvements of current methods by exploring innovative coatings and mandrel materials.
The findings of this study have the potential to impact various fields such as astronomy, space research, and adaptive optics and will be conducted at OAB advanced metrology facilities, in a context which is regarded as top of the field, and in a context of international collaborations and partnerships with industries.
Techniques and methods that will be used in this work are of general applicability in industry and research for optics and other fields.
Review of literature and of previous research in thermal forming.
Laboratory experimentation and analysis of thermal forming process and applications.
Metrology and analysis of the effect of coatings and mandrel materials on thermal forming.
Collection and presentation of results