Deposition of Optical Microcomponents by ink-jet process

R. Danzebrink and M.A. Aegerter
Institut für Neue Materialien
INM, Department of Coating Technology
Im, Stadtwald Gebaüde 43
66123 Saarbrücken Germany


Ink jet processes using either a drop-on-demand or a dosing system have been applied to the deposition of single and large arrays of high optical properties refractive microlenses. The lenses are made of silica based inorganic-organic material which can be densified either thermally or by UV irradiation at low temperature. 
Microlenses diameter d and height h made with a single drop can be varied between d=50µm, h=6.25 µm to about 2 mm and 150 µm respectively conferring a focal distance varying between 100 µm and about 10 mm respectively. Large arrays of lenses have been realized with a minimum separation between the lenses as small as 5 % of their diameter. Single lenses and array of lenses made with multidrops were also obtained. 1.000 microdrops with d=50 µm allow to obtain lenses with 800 µm diameter, 56 µm height and 2.9 mm focal distance. All the components have a high optical transparency (92 %) within the wavelength range 300 nm - 2.7 µm, are highly homogeneous and with very low stress and astigmatism. The index of refraction can be tailored by modifying the sol composition. The lenses average surface roughness is Ra = 40 nm. Their shape measured by profilometry and their focusing properties, determined in and near the focal plane, are reported.

Related Links : INM, Ink -jet printing technology of microlenses

Paper presented at the 3rd Inter. Conference on Coatings on Glass
October 29- November 2, 2000, Mastricht, The Netherlands


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