Arrays of microlenses with variable focal lengths fabricated by restructuring polymer surfaces with an ink-jet device
We report of a method for fabricating two-dimensional, regular arrays of polymer microlenses with focal lengths variable between 0.2 and 4.5 mm. We first make concave microlenses by ink-jetting solvent on a polymer substrate with a commercial drop-on-demand device. Solvent evaporation restructures the surface by a series of combined effects, which are discussed. In the second step we obtain convex elastomeric microlenses by casting the template made in the first step. We demonstrate the good optical quality of the microlenses by characterising their surfaces with atomic force microscopy and white light interferometry, and by directly measuring their focal lengths with ad-hoc confocal laser scanning microscopy. (C) 2007 Optical Society of America.