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Proceedings Paper

Controlled guidance of light through a flexible optical waveguide sheet
Author(s): Chloë Nicholson-Smith; George K. Knopf; Evgueni Bordatchev
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Paper Abstract

The controlled guidance of light rays through a mechanically flexible large area polymer optical waveguide sheet is investigated using Zemax OpticStudio software. The geometry and spatial distribution of micro-optical features patterned on the waveguide sheet determines whether the surface acts as a light concentrator or diffuser. To illustrate the concept, incident light is collected over a large center area and then transmitted to the border where it is emitted through an illumination window covered by an array of photo-cells. The efficiencies of the collector and illuminating regions of the hybrid PDMS collector-diffuser waveguide sheet are discussed. Initial analysis of the waveguide design demonstrates an ideal efficiency of over 90% for the concentrating region of the waveguide and over 80% efficiency for the diffusing region of the waveguide. The Zemax simulation of the ideal design of the hybrid concentrator-diffuser waveguide exhibited an efficiency of up to 75%. However this efficiency significantly decreased when examining the waveguide’s performance as a flexible sheet. The necessary design modifications, to mitigate these losses in efficiency, are discussed, and future work will focus on analyzing and optimizing the waveguide design for performance as a fully flexible concentrator-diffuser membrane.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 March 2016
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9759, Advanced Fabrication Technologies for Micro/Nano Optics and Photonics IX, 97590C (14 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2208788
Show Author Affiliations
Chloë Nicholson-Smith, The Univ. of Western Ontario (Canada)
George K. Knopf, The Univ. of Western Ontario (Canada)
Evgueni Bordatchev, National Research Council Canada (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9759:
Advanced Fabrication Technologies for Micro/Nano Optics and Photonics IX
Georg von Freymann; Winston V. Schoenfeld; Raymond C. Rumpf, Editor(s)

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