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Journal of Biomedical Optics • new

Fabrication of miniature elastomer lenses with programmable liquid mold for smartphone microscopy: curing polydimethylsiloxane with in situ curvature control
Author(s): Bhuvaneshwari Karunakaran; Joseph Tharion; Arvind Ramrao Dhawangale; Debjani Paul; Soumyo Mukherji
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Paper Abstract

Miniature lenses can transform commercial imaging systems, e.g., smartphones and webcams, into powerful, low-cost, handheld microscopes. To date, the reproducible fabrication of polymer lenses is still a challenge as they require controlled dispensing of viscous liquid. This paper reports a reproducible lens fabrication technique using liquid mold with programmable curvature and off-the-shelf materials. The lens curvature is controlled during fabrication by tuning the curvature of an interface of two immiscible liquids [polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and glycerol]. The curvature control is implemented using a visual feedback system, which includes a software-based guiding system to produce lenses of desired curvature. The technique allows PDMS lens fabrication of a wide range of sizes and focal lengths, within 20 min. The fabrication of two lens diameters: 1 and 5 mm with focal lengths ranging between 1.2 and 11 mm are demonstrated. The lens surface and bulk quality check performed using X-ray microtomography and atomic force microscopy reveal that the lenses are suitable for optical imaging. Furthermore, a smartphone microscope with ∼1.4-μm resolution is developed using a self-assembly of a single high power fabricated lens and microaperture. The lenses have various potential applications, e.g., optofluidics, diagnostics, forensics, and surveillance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 February 2018
PDF: 14 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 23(2) 025002 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.23.2.025002
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 23, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Bhuvaneshwari Karunakaran, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (India)
Joseph Tharion, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (India)
Arvind Ramrao Dhawangale, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (India)
Debjani Paul, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (India)
Soumyo Mukherji, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (India)

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