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Proceedings Paper

Fabrication of large area flexible PDMS waveguide sheets
Author(s): Robert Green; George K. Knopf; Evgueni Bordatchev
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Paper Abstract

Soft-lithography techniques can be used to fabricate mechanically flexible polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) optical waveguide sheets that act as large area light collectors (concentrators) and illuminators (diffusers). The performance and efficiency of these optical sheets is determined by the position and geometry of micro-optical features embedded in the sheet or imprinted on its surface, thickness and shape of the waveguide, core and cladding refractive indices, and wavelength of the incident light source. The critical design-for-manufacturability parameters are discussed and a scalable method of fabricating multi-layered PDMS optical waveguides is introduced. To illustrate the concepts a prototype waveguide sheet that acts a combined light collector and illumination panel is fabricated and tested. The region of the waveguide sheet that acts as the light collector consists of two superimposed PDMS layers with slightly different indices of refraction. The top layer is patterned with micro-lenses that focus the incident light rays onto the micro-wedge features that act as reflectors on the bottom of the second layer and, due to total internal reflection, redirect the light rays to the light diffuser region of the waveguide sheet. The bottom face of the diffuser PDMS layer is patterned with angled triangular wedge micro-features that project the light out of the waveguide sheet forming an illuminating pattern. The proposed fabrication technique utilizes precision machined polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) moulds with negative patterned PDMS inserts that transfer the desired micro-optical features onto the moulded waveguide.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 March 2016
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9759, Advanced Fabrication Technologies for Micro/Nano Optics and Photonics IX, 97590U (14 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2208789
Show Author Affiliations
Robert Green, 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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