Journal article

Light induced fluidic waveguide coupling

We report on the development of an opto-fluidic waveguide coupling mechanism for planar solar concentration. This mechanism is self-adaptive and light-responsive to efficiently maintain waveguide coupling and concentration independent of incoming light's direction. Vapor bubbles are generated inside a planar, liquid waveguide using infrared light on an infrared absorbing glass. Visible light focused onto the bubble is then reflected by total internal reflection (TIR) at the liquid-gas interface and coupled into the waveguide. Vapor bubbles inside the liquid are trapped by a thermal effect and are shown to self-track the location of the infrared focus. Experimentally we show an optical to optical waveguide coupling efficiency of 40% using laser light through a single commercial lens. Optical simulations indicate that coupling efficiency > 90% is possible with custom optics. (C) 2012 Optical Society of America


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