RP Photonics

Encyclopedia … combined with a great Buyer's Guide!

VLib
Virtual
Library

Cylindrical Lenses

Definition: lenses which focus or defocus light only in one direction

German: zylindrische Linsen

Category: general optics

How to cite the article; suggest additional literature

Cylindrical lenses are optical lenses which are curved only in one direction. Therefore, they focus or defocus light only in one direction, for example in the horizontal direction but not in the vertical direction. As for ordinary lenses, their focusing or defocusing behavior can be characterized with a focal length or its inverse, the dioptric power.

Usually, the surface curvature of a cylindrical lens is of spherical type, but there are also aspheric cylindrical lenses. Further, there are cylindrical gradient-index lenses, not exhibiting any surface curvature.

Applications

Cylindrical lenses can be used to obtain a beam focus of elliptical form. That can be required, for example, for feeding light through the entrance slit of a monochromator or into an acousto-optic deflector, or for conditioning pump light for a slab laser.

There are fast axis collimators for diode bars, which are essentially cylindrical lenses – often with an aspheric shape.

Cylindrical lenses cause astigmatism of a laser beam: a mismatch of focus position for both directions. Conversely, they can also used for compensating astigmatism of a beam or an optical system. For example, they may be required for collimating the output of a laser diode such that one obtains a circular non-astigmatic beam.

Suppliers

The RP Photonics Buyer's Guide contains 45 suppliers for cylindrical lenses. Among them:

See also: lenses, astigmatism
and other articles in the category general optics

How do you rate this article?

Click here to send us your feedback!

Your general impression: don't know poor satisfactory good excellent
Technical quality: don't know poor satisfactory good excellent
Usefulness: don't know poor satisfactory good excellent
Readability: don't know poor satisfactory good excellent
Comments:

Found any errors? Suggestions for improvements? Do you know a better web page on this topic?

Spam protection: (enter the value of 5 + 8 in this field!)

If you want a response, you may leave your e-mail address in the comments field, or directly send an e-mail.

If you enter any personal data, this implies that you agree with storing it; we will use it only for the purpose of improving our website and possibly giving you a response; see also our declaration of data privacy.

If you like our website, you may also want to get our newsletters!

If you like this article, share it with your friends and colleagues, e.g. via social media:

arrow