Optical Design


Lecturer(s) :

Scharf Toralf




Only this year


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The course is designed for scientists who want to acquire knowledge and expertise in optics and optical design and is relevant to practitioners in a broad range of fields. The main focus of the course is the layout and optimization of optical imaging systems using the optical design software Zemax.


Introduction - optical systems        Optical modeling, paraxial optics, raytrace, lenses, materials, optical systems, model, ray sets, pupil, vignetting, imaging, etendue, system complexity

Introduction into Zemax    Basic handling

Aberrations I      Ray aberrations, expansions, representations, primary aberrations

Aberrations II     Wave aberrations, Rayleigh and Marechal criteria, Zernike coefficients, measurement

Aberrations III    PSF, Strehl, MTF

Optimization       Basic principles, correction process, constraints, bending, initial systems, global methods, lens splitting, lens removal, burried surfaces

Correction methods I       Structure, symmetry, stop position, telecentricity, retrofocus, telesystem

Correction methods II      Correction of primary aberrations, aplanatic surfaces, higher orders, wide field setups, vignetting

Chromatical correction      Dispersion, partial dispersion, axial chromatical aberration, achromatization, classical achromate setup, negative, convergent light, aplanatic, apochromatic correction, miscellaneous

Simple systems   Single lens, 4f systems, endoscopes, relays, eyepieces, scan lenses

Mirror systems and telescopes       Telescopes, setup and formulas, reflecting telescopes, catadioptric sytems

Camera systems Overview, system classification, distinctive optical design features, examples

Field flattening    Introduction, Petzval theorem, correction of field curvature, examples

Aspheres           Surface types, Forbes approach, spherical correction, optimal location of aspheres, miscellaneous


Optical system and lens design

Ray tracing with Zemax

Learning Prerequisites

Important concepts to start the course

Basic knowldege on optics

In the programs

    • Semester
    • Exam form
       Written & Oral
    • Credits
    • Subject examined
      Optical Design
    • Lecture
      20 Hour(s)
    • Exercises
      20 Hour(s)

Reference week

      Exercise, TP
      Project, other


  • Autumn semester
  • Winter sessions
  • Spring semester
  • Summer sessions
  • Lecture in French
  • Lecture in English
  • Lecture in German