16 February 2018 Fabrication of miniature elastomer lenses with programmable liquid mold for smartphone microscopy: curing polydimethylsiloxane with in situ curvature control
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Abstract
Miniature lenses can transform commercial imaging systems, e.g., smartphones and webcams, into powerful, low-cost, handheld microscopes. To date, the reproducible fabrication of polymer lenses is still a challenge as they require controlled dispensing of viscous liquid. This paper reports a reproducible lens fabrication technique using liquid mold with programmable curvature and off-the-shelf materials. The lens curvature is controlled during fabrication by tuning the curvature of an interface of two immiscible liquids [polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and glycerol]. The curvature control is implemented using a visual feedback system, which includes a software-based guiding system to produce lenses of desired curvature. The technique allows PDMS lens fabrication of a wide range of sizes and focal lengths, within 20 min. The fabrication of two lens diameters: 1 and 5 mm with focal lengths ranging between 1.2 and 11 mm are demonstrated. The lens surface and bulk quality check performed using X-ray microtomography and atomic force microscopy reveal that the lenses are suitable for optical imaging. Furthermore, a smartphone microscope with ∼1.4-μm resolution is developed using a self-assembly of a single high power fabricated lens and microaperture. The lenses have various potential applications, e.g., optofluidics, diagnostics, forensics, and surveillance.
© 2018 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
Bhuvaneshwari Karunakaran, Joseph Tharion, Arvind Ramrao Dhawangale, Debjani Paul, Soumyo Mukherji, "Fabrication of miniature elastomer lenses with programmable liquid mold for smartphone microscopy: curing polydimethylsiloxane with in situ curvature control," Journal of Biomedical Optics 23(2), 025002 (16 February 2018). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.JBO.23.2.025002 . Submission: Received: 3 November 2017; Accepted: 18 January 2018
Received: 3 November 2017; Accepted: 18 January 2018; Published: 16 February 2018
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