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Variable Focusing Microlens Chip for Potential Sensing Applications

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2 Author(s)
Weisong Wang ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Lehigh Univ., Bethlehem, PA ; Ji Fang

A variable focusing microlens chip, which has the capability of adjusting its focal length over a wide range without any mechanical driving parts, is reported in this paper. The packaged microlens chip consists of a flexible polymer lens, a fluidic chamber, an integrated sensor, and an actuator. A thermal actuator is introduced into this variable focusing microlens to obtain relatively large actuation force and displacement. The hemispheric convex polymer lens provides an initial focal point without being actuated. The focal length change is controlled by varying the voltage applied to the thermal actuator. A 1.9-mm-diameter polymer lens is made to test the performance of the device. The focal length of this chip varies from 14.658 to 2.782 mm, which corresponds to the change of numerical aperture from 0.078 to 0.412. Based on the working mechanism and constructing method of the single lens chip, a variable focusing microlenses array has been fabricated for future testing and application. Potential sensing applications for single lens and array include cell detection and immobilization, optical sensors, lab-on-a-chip, ophthalmic lens systems, microphotonics, high throughput scanning, and confocal imaging system

Published in:

Sensors Journal, IEEE  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 1 )