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Micromachines 2014, 5(2), 275-288; doi:10.3390/mi5020275

Fabrication of Polydimethylsiloxane Microlenses Utilizing Hydrogel Shrinkage and a Single Molding Step

1
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53707, USA
2
Department of Electrical Engineering, Kuwait University, Khaldiya 13060, Kuwait
3
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53707, USA
4
Materials Science Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53707, USA
5
McPherson Eye Research Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53707, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 April 2014 / Revised: 9 May 2014 / Accepted: 14 May 2014 / Published: 21 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microlenses)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [359 KB, 23 May 2014; original version 21 May 2014]   |  

Abstract

We report on polydimethlysiloxane (PDMS) microlenses and microlens arrays on flat and curved substrates fabricated via a relatively simple process combining liquid-phase photopolymerization and a single molding step. The mold for the formation of the PDMS lenses is fabricated by photopolymerizing a polyacrylamide (PAAm) pre-hydrogel. The shrinkage of PAAm after its polymerization forms concave lenses. The lenses are then transferred to PDMS by a single step molding to form PDMS microlens array on a flat substrate. The PAAm concave lenses are also transferred to PDMS and another flexible polymer, Solaris, to realize artificial compound eyes. The resultant microlenses and microlens arrays possess good uniformity and optical properties. The focal length of the lenses is inversely proportional to the shrinkage time. The microlens mold can also be rehydrated to change the focal length of the ultimate PDMS microlenses. The spherical aberration is 2.85 μm and the surface roughness is on the order of 204 nm. The microlenses can resolve 10.10 line pairs per mm (lp/mm) and have an f-number range between f/2.9 and f/56.5. For the compound eye, the field of view is 113°.
Keywords: microlenses; microlens arrays; compound eye; tunable lenses; hydrogels microlenses; microlens arrays; compound eye; tunable lenses; hydrogels
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Aldalali, B.; Kanhere, A.; Fernandes, J.; Huang, C.-C.; Jiang, H. Fabrication of Polydimethylsiloxane Microlenses Utilizing Hydrogel Shrinkage and a Single Molding Step. Micromachines 2014, 5, 275-288.

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