Optical Elements and Machining Processes

We are the largest department in the TOPTEC Centre. Apart from researchers and engineers, we also employ a number of technologists and laboratory specialists. Our team cover all the requirements resulting from the tasks involved in the research and development of machining processes for precise spheric, aspheric, as well as free-form elements, and in the fabrication of such optical components. Thanks to our versatile collaboration, the Optical Elements and Machining Processes department has gained a reputation for a top R & D institution at a European scale.

Team and equipment

  • researchers working on fundamental and applied research topics; engineers and technicians developing the acquired knowledge towards application practice
  • machining equipment – both for shape generation (grinding, milling) and for polishing (five-axis CNC generators, six- and seven-axis CNC polishing centres, IBF, spherical polishing machines)
  • measuring equipment – spherical and aspherical interferometers (QED ASI), collimators, autocollimators, 3D profilometers (Luphoscan, Mahr MFU 200), WLI, confocal microscope, AFM microscope, etc


  • research of machining processes in the field of basic shape generation by grinding or milling
  • research in the field of optical surface finishing (prepolishing, iterative shape corrections, and finishing of the surface in order to achieve its maximum quality)
  • mathematical process modelling, kinematic mode optimization, suppression of mid spatial frequencies generated by CNC machining
  • realization of spherical, aspherical, and free-form optics focusing on the uniqueness or high quality of elements for optical systems with high requirements e. g. for astronomical or laser applications (with dimensions of prototype pieces from units of millimetres up to approx. 450 mm and with achieved surface precision in fractions of light wavelengths)


  • Lightweight aspheric mirrors of the METIS (Multi Element Telescope for Imaging and Spectroscopy) telescope for the ESA Solar Orbiter mission PDF (0.8 MB)
  • Advanced optical systems using aspheric surfaces PDF (0.5 MB)
  • Nanofibres and nanoparticles of abrasives as the foundation of a new generation of tools for ultrafine surface polishing
  • Minimization of the origin and elimination of mid spatial frequencies of surface structures during production of aspheric and free-form optical surfaces PDF (0.4 MB)


  • Academic and application sphere in the Czech Republic: Technical University of Liberec, Czech Technical university in Prague, Institute of Physics of the CAS, Institute of Instrumentation of the CAS, Medical Faculty of Charles University, Meopta-optika, s.r.o., POLPUR™, spol. s r.o., or Dias Turnov, s.r.o.
  • International cooperation: THD (Germany), TNO (Netherlands), IOM Leipzig (Germany), Durham University (Great Britain), and others.
  • Major recipients of custom solutions: ELCOM, a.s., Siemens s.r.o., OHB Italia, S.p.A. (Italy), European Space Agency (Netherlands), AIRBUS Defence and Space (France).


Ing. František Procháska, Ph.D.
Tel.: +420 487 953 919
Email: prochaska@ipp.cas.cz