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Proceedings Paper

Microscopy using water droplets
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Paper Abstract

Water droplets are an attractive medium to realize visible-frequency optical elements. The smoothness of a droplet surface mitigates losses due to light scattering, the shape of a water droplet is reconfigurable by either applying pressure or a potential, water is nearly transparent over the visible frequency range, and water is highly abundant. Here, we explore a simple methodology to dispense and shape water droplets for application as the magnifying element in a microscope using either reflection-mode or transmission-mode illumination. A water droplet is created at the end of a syringe and then coated with a thin layer of silicone oil to mitigate evaporation. By applying mechanical pressure to the water droplet using a metal tip, the shape of the droplet is tuned to yield focusing properties amenable for microscopy. Images captured using the microscope demonstrate micron-scale resolution, variable magnification, and imaging quality comparable to that obtained by a conventional, laboratory-grade microscope.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 February 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8252, MOEMS and Miniaturized Systems XI, 82520Z (15 February 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.906949
Show Author Affiliations
Faqrul A. Chowdhury, The Univ. of British Columbia (Canada)
Kenneth J. Chau, The Univ. of British Columbia (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8252:
MOEMS and Miniaturized Systems XI
Harald Schenk; Wibool Piyawattanametha; Wilfried Noell, Editor(s)

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