Expansive scope of aplanatic concentrators and collimators

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1 Scopus citations


Aplanats refer to inherently imaging optics that wholly eliminate both spherical aberration and coma. They typically comprise two refractive and/or reflective surfaces. For radiative transfer (which is typically nonimaging in nature), aplanats can closely approach the thermodynamic bounds for collimation and concentration, especially significant for light-emitting diodes (LEDs), solar energy, and infrared applications. Recently, we identified previously unrecognized basic categories of aplanats and showed how they can offer powerful new possibilities for LED collimation and for concentrating sunlight. Here, we review and elaborate the full scope of aplanat classifications, with illustrative examples of maximum-performance practical optics for all possible combinations of reflective and refractive contours. These examples subsume the latest invention of faceted (Fresnel) aplanats toward achieving greater compactness and lower mass. We also show how hybrid aplanats that combine the basic categories can improve concentrator and collimator performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)F14-F20
JournalApplied Optics
Issue number22
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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