Research topics of immediate interest fall in either of two categories:
- Methods of describing freeform surfaces for manufacture and how they may be used in optical design. Freeform surface descriptions include global descriptions (e.g. phi-polynomials, local descriptions (e.g. radial basis functions), and hybrid descriptions (e..g multi-scale surfaces). In designing with freeform surfaces, nodal aberration theory provides key insight into the expected field dependence of each aberration. The methods being developed support wave-based modeling of freeform systems and handle thin optics and challenging optical materials . Advanced freeform surfaces include textured or Kolmogorov surfaces, segmented arrays, hybrid surfaces, and dynamic freeforms.
- Methods for fabrication and testing of freeform optics in a range of materials. Examples include characterization and elimination of mid-spatial frequency errors, advanced metrology for freeform surfaces, measurement and estimation of subsurface damage, and in situ characterization during manufacturing.