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31 August 2006 Fabrication technologies for chirped refractive microlens arrays
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Conventional microlens arrays consist of a repetitive arrangement of a unit cell on a fixed pitch. In a chirped array, the inflexibility of a regular structure has been overcome. Here, the array consists of individually shaped lenses which are defined by a parametric description of the cells optical function. We propose different fabrication methods for chirped microlens arrays and present experimentally obtained data. Reflow of photoresist is an established technology for the fabrication of microlenses with superior optical performance. For the generation of a chirped microlens array the photolithographic mask for patterning the resist to be melted has to be chirped. We present an algorithm for mask generation with an example of an ultra-thin camera objective. Inherent to the reflow process stringent limitations to viable surfaces apply. For achieving more arbitrary surfaces, laser lithography and also 2-photon polymerization are employed. In both methods the structures are decomposed into pixels. In laser lithography the local height is converted into an intensity value for the exposure. This variable dose writing locally changes the solubility of the resist in the development process leading to the required surface profile. We propose a writing scheme enabling structure heights of several ten microns with sufficient height discretization. 2-photon polymerization is a rapid prototyping method. Here, a small volume of a UV-curing organic-inorganic co-polymer is hardened in the tight focus of the writing beam. The volume pixel to be exposed is addressed by piezoelectric translation stages. Experimentally obtained structures and performed tests of the optical quality are presented.
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
F. C. Wippermann, D. Radtke, U. Zeitner, J. W. Duparré, A. Tünnermann, M. Amberg, S. Sinzinger, C. Reinhardt, A. Ovsianikov, and B. N. Chichkov "Fabrication technologies for chirped refractive microlens arrays", Proc. SPIE 6288, Current Developments in Lens Design and Optical Engineering VII, 62880O (31 August 2006);


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