22 September 1997 Refractive microlens arrays made by contactless embossing
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Abstract
Contactless embossing of microlenses (CEM) with LIGA molding tools is a new fabrication techniques for the production of refractive microlens arrays which combines high accuracy in the micrometer range, cost-effective production of the devices, and cost-effective high precision mounting concepts. The name refers to the fact that the surface of the microlenses has no contact with the embossing die during the shaping of the surface relief. A high precision matrix of holes made by LIGA microfabrication is pressed onto a thermoplastic sample which is heated. The material bulges into the openings of the molding tool due to the applied pressure and forms lens-like spherical structures. The embossing die touches the lens material only outside the lens area. High-speed microlenses with f/ < f/4 and diameters of the lens aperture between 30 micrometers and 500 micrometers have been fabricated in PMMA and PC. Excellent uniformity within the microlens arrays are achieved by using LIGA microfabricated embossing dies. In addition to the excellent optical performance of the microlenses, the CEM method assists hybrid integration in micro-opto-electro- mechanical systems by providing precise auxiliary structures for easy and cost-effective mounting and adjusting.
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Antoni Picard, Wolfgang Ehrfeld, Holger Loewe, Holger Mueller, Jens Schulze, "Refractive microlens arrays made by contactless embossing", Proc. SPIE 3135, Precision Plastic Optics for Optical Storage, Displays, Imaging, and Communications, (22 September 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.284097; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.284097
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