This Proposal confronts manufacturing challenges that constrict the on-going revolution in complex (‘freeform’) optical surfaces, these promising radical performance-improvements, yet with fewer components. We focus primarily on resolving the lack of worldwide capability for nano-scale-accurate, super-smooth freeforms that i) can survive high laser-powers, and ii) meet emerging challenges in other applications, especially next-generation semiconductor photolithography. We take laser-fusion (US National Ignition Facility, NIF) as an example, the technology promising almost limitless energy, but requiring gross simplification – one of the keys is free-form optics. The project thereby confronts key societal needs incl. sustainable manufacture, Big Data and ‘green’ energy. Our industry/research consortium has the expertise and facilities to tackle this head on, developing a unique commercial manufacturing solution. After IP protection, project outputs will then be widely disseminated.



University of Huddersfield

Thin Metal Films Ltd


Applied University OST, Switzerland