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Biomedical Optics Express

Biomedical Optics Express

  • Editor: Joseph A. Izatt
  • Vol. 5, Iss. 5 — May. 1, 2014
  • pp: 1626–1635

Fabricating low cost and high performance elastomer lenses using hanging droplets

W. M. Lee, A. Upadhya, P. J. Reece, and Tri Giang Phan  »View Author Affiliations

Biomedical Optics Express, Vol. 5, Issue 5, pp. 1626-1635 (2014)

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Existing methods for low cost lenses using parallel mold stamping and high temperature reflow requires complex engineering controls to produce high quality lenses. These manufacturing techniques rely on expensive equipment. In this paper, we propose a low cost (< $ 0.01 per pc) flexible moldless lens fabrication method based on curing a hanging transparent polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomer droplet on a curved substrate. Additional deposition of hanging droplets in the same manner led to a substantial increase in the lens curvature and concomitant decrease in the focal length of the PDMS lenses down to ~2 mm. The shortest focal length lenses were shown to collimate light from a bare light emitting diode (LED) and image microscopic structures down to around 4 µm with 160x magnification. Our hanging droplet lens fabrication technique heralds a new paradigm in the manufacture of low cost, high performance optical lenses for the masses. Using these lenses, we were able to transform an ordinary commercial smartphone camera into a low-cost digital dermascope (60x magnification) that can readily visualize microscopic structures on skin such as sweat pores.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(110.0110) Imaging systems : Imaging systems
(120.0120) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology
(180.0180) Microscopy : Microscopy
(220.4610) Optical design and fabrication : Optical fabrication

ToC Category:
Novel Light Sources, Optics, and Detectors

Original Manuscript: February 21, 2014
Revised Manuscript: April 2, 2014
Manuscript Accepted: April 5, 2014
Published: April 24, 2014

W. M. Lee, A. Upadhya, P. J. Reece, and Tri Giang Phan, "Fabricating low cost and high performance elastomer lenses using hanging droplets," Biomed. Opt. Express 5, 1626-1635 (2014)

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