3D Printed Microoptics

Microlens array
© Fraunhofer ISC
Array of 3D printed aspherical microlenses

Microoptical elements are key components for further integration of complex optical devices. Powerful smartphone camera, high luminance projectors and optical detectors are only a few application examples that utilize microoptical components for improved performance.


Fraunhofer ISC contributes to the broader adoption of microoptical components by developing process technology and materials, which are specifically designed for excellent optical properties and geometric flexibility. In particular, two-photon polymerization is used to generate any kind of refractive or diffractive microscopic component directly from computer design. The desired surface function can be generated very similar to 3D printing but on a micron scale. This enables the manufacturing of freeform microlenses, microlens array, and multilevel diffractive optical elements (DOEs) on large scales and on almost any kind of substrate.

2PP Multilevel diffractive optics CeSMA
© Fraunhofer ISC
SEM image of a multilevel diffractive optical element fabricated with two-photon polymerization

Advantages of 2PP-written microoptics


  • Any geometry …
  • … on any desired position
  • … on (almost) any substrate
  • More than state-of the art precision and surface roughness



  • Display
  • Optical sensors
  • Optofluidics
  • Metrology
  • Data transfer
  • Optical integration
  •  etc.
Prism arrangement
© Fraunhofer ISC
Prism arrangement consisting of 15.000 individual microprisms (Height: 30 µm, Size: 60 µm, Pitch: 75 µm)

Capabilities of Fraunhofer ISC

  • Unique combination of process technology and development of tailored hybrid polymers (ORMOCER®)
  • CAD/CAM chain: From design to prototype
  • Design of microoptical components
  • Process development towards high precision, low roughness and high throughput
  • Characterization of fabricated components
  • Feasibility studies and prototyping

Expert information

»Two Photon-Polymerization«

Femtosecond laser pulses as a tool for true 3D micromachining

Article I Science Direct

»Heterogeneous microoptical structures with sub-micrometer precision«

Article I SPIE Digital Library

»Strategies for rapid and reliable fabrication of microoptical structures using two-photon polymerization«