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March 20, 2014 Duncan Moore

March 20, 2014 Duncan Moore

Note: This meeting will be held at Embassy Suites Boston/Waltham

Recent Developments in Gradient Index Optics

OSA Presidential Speaker

The University of Rochester and its team members advanced three gradient index (GRIN) material paths towards mass manufacturing and developed the tools needed to integrate these GRIN materials into optical designs.
Aluminum oxynitride (ALON) gradient index materials were developed by Surmet and characterized at the University of Rochester.  The ALON GRIN materials are transparent from the ultraviolet out to the mid wave infrared region (4.5 microns) and exhibit unique chromatic properties.  Nitrogen content and dopant additives enable control of the gradient index profile.  GRIN ALON materials present a path for ALON to move beyond armored windows and domes and to become an integrated part in advanced optical design.  Surmet has developed ALON GRIN material to manufacturing readiness level 4 and is pursuing further development of dopant ALON GRIN materials. 
University of Rochester and Gradient Lens Corporation have accomplished several key advancements in glass GRIN material.  Previously, fabrication methods where a barrier for making large diameter (>20mm) radial GRINs in glass, which limited their use in commercial optical systems.  It was shown that fast diffusing ion exchange in titania silicate glass can produce large radial gradients in less than 30 days.  
Polymer GRIN materials were produced that have a large change in index of refraction (up to 0.1), and strong chromatic dispersion.  In general polymer optics are light weight, and provide additional material properties, both useful for improving optical designs.  The GRIN in the polymer provides additional degrees of freedom.  The polymethyl-methacrylate/polystyrene material developed is thermoformable, allowing for arbitrary and near net shape GRIN profiles to be fabricated that open up the design space beyond the classical axial and radial GRIN profile options.  Axial, radial, and near net shape GRINs were all demonstrated with the polymer system.  In addition gradient index prisms were modeled and fabricated characterized polymer materials.  These were used to demonstrate the useful chromatic properties of the polymer GRIN material and its potential applications in spectrometers, beam steering optics, and hyperspectral imaging.
The University of Rochester developed multiple metrology instruments for characterizing GRIN materials and their homogeneous constituents.  Metrology capabilities span from the visible to mid wave infrared wavelength regions (4.5 microns).  These instruments are used to build a library of real material data for use in optical design software. The tools were developed that allow a designer to optimize a system with a GRIN element or elements that are based on real material data.  The material data and tools to enable optical design with real GRIN materials are a key development necessary for wide spread use of GRIN optics.    Over 100 GRIN designs were done in visible, NIR, SWIR, MWIR, LWIR, or combination of these wavelength ranges.

Note: This meeting will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Waltham with a sit down dinner.


Duncan Moore, University of Rochester

Duncan Moore is the Vice Provost of Entrepreneurship, the Rudolf and Hilda Kingslake Professor of Optical Engineering, and Professor of Biomedical Engineering.  Previously, from 1995 until the end of 1997, he served as Dean of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University. 
The U.S. Senate confirmed Dr. Moore in the fall of 1997 as Associate Director for Technology in The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).  In this position, which ended December 2000, he worked with Dr. Neal Lane, President Clinton's Science Advisor, to advise the President on U.S. technology policy; including the Next Generation Internet, Clean Car Initiative, elder tech, crime tech and NASA.  From January through May 2001, Dr. Moore served as Special Advisor to the Acting Director of OSTP.
The PhD degree in Optics was awarded to Dr. Moore in 1974 from the University of Rochester.  He had previously earned a master’s degree in Optics at Rochester and a bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Maine.
Dr. Moore has extensive experience in the academic, research, business, and governmental arenas of science and technology.  He is an expert in gradient-index optics, computer-aided design, and the manufacture of optical systems.  He has advised over 50 graduate thesis students.  In 1993, Dr. Moore began a one-year appointment as Science Advisor to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia.  He also chaired the successful Hubble Independent Optical Review Panel organized in 1990 to determine the correct prescription of the Hubble Space Telescope.  Dr. Moore is also the founder and former president of Gradient Lens Corporation of Rochester, NY, a company that manufactures the high-quality, low-cost Hawkeye boroscope.  Recently, he has been lecturing on “Entrepreneurship for scientists and engineers in developing economies”.  This lecture is based upon a class he teaches, which began in 1988, on technical entrepreneurship.  To date, he has spoken in South Africa, Argentina, Peru, Ireland, Italy, Jakarta and Japan.
Dr. Moore was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in February 1998.  He has been the recipient of the Science and Technology Award of the Greater Rochester Metro Chamber of Commerce (1992), Distinguished Inventor of the Year Award of the Rochester Intellectual Property Law Association (1993), Gradient-Index Award of the Japanese Applied Physics Society (1993), and an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Maine (1995).  In 1999, he received the National Engineering Award of the American Association of Engineering Societies and also was recognized as the Engineer of the Year by the Rochester Engineering Society.  In 2006, Dr. Moore received the Gold Medal of The International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE), and in 2009 Dr. Moore was the recipient of the 2009 Edwin H. Land Medal presented by the Society for Imaging Science and Technology and the Optical Society of America.


Pre-registration discount DINNER reservations must be made by 6 PM, March 17th, the Monday before the meeting. Full-price reservation accepted thereafter. Walk-ins welcome at full-price. MEETING-ONLY registrations appreciated by March 19th. 

Please make reservations online. Reservations may also be left on the answering machine at 617.584.0266. We no longer have an email address for reservations due to SPAM. When making reservation requests, please provide the following information:

  • DINNER AND MEETING or meeting only
  • Name(s) and membership status
  • Daytime phone number where you can be reached (in case of change or cancellation)


Embassy Suites Boston/Waltham
550 Winter St
Waltham, MA 02451

(781) 890-6767

(Map to Embassy Suites).

Networking—5:45 PM, Dinner—6:45, Meeting—7:30 PM.


Vegetarian option available on request

Dinner Prices:

   Register on/before
 DINNER Reservation Date 
 Late Reservations 
 NES/OSA Members and their guests   $40.00 each   $45.00 


(Includes membership fee)

 $55.00 (See NOTE Below)   $60.00 
 Students   $10.00   $10.00 
 Post-Docs   $20.00   $20.00 








NOTE: The NES/OSA has not changed dinner prices in several years but has been facing higher costs. We will maintain the current dinner prices for those reserving dinner on the requested date but still try to accommodate late reservations.

General Information on NES/OSA Meetings

Cancellations and No-shows:

If the meeting must be canceled for any reason, we will try to call you at the phone number you leave with your reservation. Official notice of cancellation will be on our answering machine.

We have to pay for the dinners reserved as of the Tuesday before the meeting, so no-shows eat into our cash reserve. If you will not be able to attend, please let us know as early as possible. Otherwise, no-shows will be billed.

Membership Rates:

Regular members $15.00
Student members free



NOTE: The extra $15.00 of the non-member dinner fee can be used toward membership dues if desired.