Optical EngineeringNumerical and experimental study of an out-of-plane prealigned refractive microlens fabricated using ultraviolet lithography method
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We present a novel out-of-plane polymer refractive microlens that can be prealigned with other optical components in a free-space micro-optical bench. This out-of-plane microlens is designed and optimized through simulation, and then successfully microfabricated using a unique UV lithography technology. In this fabrication technology, the desired surface profile is obtained by a controlled SU-8 development after two tilted exposures. The microlens backside focal length, diameter of the focal pad, and the surface curve were measured, analyzed, and compared with the simulation results. The microlenses obtained are perpendicular to the substrate. This out-of-plane prealigned microlens can be used to eliminate the alignment and assembly steps and obtain integrated optical benches. It helps to reduce the running cost, save time, and improve the quality and performance of the integrated optical systems.