Optical Technologies

The basis of performance of every piece of optical equipment lies in optical technologies.

As a pioneer of optical technologies, Nikon has continuously faced and pursued "light", investigated its possibilities, and meticulously researched how to precisely manipulate it to be more efficiently utilized by people for over 100 years.

Some of the fruits of such challenges for Nikon include "synthetic silica glass" that provides superior refractive-index uniformity and high transmittance, "aspherical ED glass" that effectively compensates chromatic and spherical aberrations, "Nano Crystal Coat" and "ARNEO Coat" that both significantly reduce ghost and flare effects, "fluorine coat" that realizes remarkable antifouling performance and durability, and "PF (Phase Fresnel) lens" that contributes to achieving compact and light design.

As well as all of these accomplishments, Nikon has developed various techniques and measures to attain the targeted optical performance. These include "active optics" that maintain an optical system in the optimum condition by moving the mechanical structure. In addition, there is effective collaboration between the materials and processing techniques development departments that aim to achieve higher optical performance and the designing department. In this way, while continuously pursuing unprecedented innovation, Nikon has successfully produced a diversified range of products such as semiconductor lithography systems incorporating immersion technology that pushes the boundaries of semiconductor miniaturization, and mirrorless cameras featuring the Z mount system that enables next-generation image expression with new-dimensional optical performance.

Superior optical performance realized by active optics

An effective optical system need not always be static or fixed. The required optical performance can sometimes be obtained by moving the optics. For example, with semiconductor lithography systems, the optical system is kept in the optimum condition by controlling both optical elements including lenses and mechanical structure to hold them at high speed and with high accuracy. Thus, ultrahigh-precision compensation for lens aberrations is realized by moving mirrors in the order of 0.01 nanometers. In the development of such active optics, extremely careful consideration for which component should be moved and how much strength is required for the movement is essential, and abundant knowledge of mechanical and electronic fields as well as highly advanced skills are indispensable.

One of Nikon's strong points is that there are many specialists in diverse fields within the group who synergetically cooperate to achieve active optics. The reason for the superior optical performance of Nikon products is due to the fact that the company can design and develop optical systems from a comprehensive viewpoint by fully maximizing this strength.

Consistently pursuing high optical performance during the manufacturing process

Nikon is an optical manufacturer that conducts comprehensive and consistent manufacturing from the raw materials to the final products. By making the most of this advantage, Nikon has developed a variety of new technologies to meet the requirements of the optical design department. These include production technology for glasses featuring innovative characteristics to attain unprecedented optical performance, and for lenses and mirrors of diverse dimensions and shapes, as well as coating technology that maximizes lens performance. In addition, a unique technology for assembly/adjustment that achieves the targeted optical performance stably has also been developed. Via the close commitment of the designing department to each part of the manufacturing process as well as the close collaboration with production facilities both in Japan and around the world, Nikon is realizing the outstanding optical performance it is renowned for and continuing further advancement.

Optical Design Ecosystem - synergy between the designing department and production sites

Example: The NIKKOR lens manufacturing process

The challenge to create new value through diverse optical systems

Nikon possesses a vast storehouse of designing knowhow accumulated for over 100 years as an optical manufacturer, optical technologies that have been continuously refined, and a highly skilled workforce that effectively covers a wide range of fields. By maximizing these advantages, Nikon has always consistently offered a diversified lineup of top-quality optical products with a wide selection of size, performance, price and quantity factors, ranging from familiar devices that enrich people's everyday lives to equipment/systems that support industrial and scientific development. Nikon welcomes the challenge of continuously creating innovative products with which to explore the future, utilizing its advanced optical knowledge and flexibility in order to support and enrich people's lives and society with new value.