20 April 1998 Compact self-aligning assemblies with refractive microlens arrays made by contactless embossing
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Abstract
The hybrid integration of microlenses and arrays of microlenses in micro-optical systems is simplified using contactless embossing of microlenses (CEM) in combination with LIGA microfabrication. CEM is anew fabrication technique for the production of precise refractive microlens arrays. A high precision matrix of holes made by LIGA technique is used as a compression molding tool to form the microlenses. The tool is pressed onto a thermoplastic sample which is heated close to the glass transformation temperature of the material. The material bulges into the openings of the molding tool due to the applied pressure and forms lens-like spherical structures. The name refers to the fact that the surface of the microlens does not get in contact with the compression molding tool during the shaping process and optical quality of the surface is maintained. Microlenses and arrays of microlenses with lens diameters from 30 micrometers up to 700 micrometers and numerical aperture values of up to 0.25 have been fabricated in different materials. Cost-effectiveness in the production process, excellent optical performance and the feature of easy replication are the main advantages of this technique. The most promising feature of this method is the possibility to obtain self- aligned assemblies then can be further integrated into a micro-optical bench setup. The CEM fabrication method in combination with LIGA microfabrication considerably enhances the hybrid integration in micro-optical devices which results in a more cost-effective production of compact micro-opto-electro-mechanical systems.
© (1998) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jens Schulze, Wolfgang Ehrfeld, Holger Mueller, Antoni Picard, "Compact self-aligning assemblies with refractive microlens arrays made by contactless embossing", Proc. SPIE 3289, Micro-Optics Integration and Assemblies, (20 April 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.305486; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.305486
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