We propose and demonstrate, for the first time to our knowledge, a microlens array of the gradient-index type using a novel liquid-crystalline material that possesses the property ofphotopolymerization by UV irradiation. Optical and electrical properties of the UV-curable liquid crystal are investigated to optimize UV curing conditions. The microlens array is prepared by use of an UV-curable liquid crystal, and gradient-index profiles are monitored during photopolymerization. As a result, relatively good focusing and imaging properties can be obtained even after photopolymerization. This technique affords us a very controllable way to fabricate the micro-optic components.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
Shin Masuda, Toshiaki Nose, and Susumu Sato, "Optical Properties of an UV-Cured Liquid-Crystal Microlens Array," Appl. Opt. 37, 2067-2073 (1998)