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Proceedings Paper

Multi-layered fabrication of large area PDMS flexible optical light guide sheets
Author(s): Robert Green; George K. Knopf; Evgueni V. Bordatchev
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Paper Abstract

Large area polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) flexible optical light guide sheets can be used to create a variety of passive light harvesting and illumination systems for wearable technology, advanced indoor lighting, non-planar solar light collectors, customized signature lighting, and enhanced safety illumination for motorized vehicles. These thin optically transparent micro-patterned polymer sheets can be draped over a flat or arbitrarily curved surface. The light guiding behavior of the optical light guides depends on the geometry and spatial distribution of micro-optical structures, thickness and shape of the flexible sheet, refractive indices of the constituent layers, and the wavelength of the incident light. A scalable fabrication method that combines soft-lithography, closed thin cavity molding, partial curing, and centrifugal casting is described in this paper for building thin large area multi-layered PDMS optical light guide sheets. The proposed fabrication methodology enables the of internal micro-optical structures (MOSs) in the monolithic PDMS light guide by building the optical system layer-by-layer. Each PDMS layer in the optical light guide can have the similar, or a slightly different, indices of refraction that permit total internal reflection within the optical sheet. The individual molded layers may also be defect free or micro-patterned with microlens or reflecting micro-features. In addition, the bond between adjacent layers is ensured because each layer is only partially cured before the next functional layer is added. To illustrate the scalable build-by-layers fabrication method a three-layer mechanically flexible illuminator with an embedded LED strip is constructed and demonstrated.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 February 2017
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 10101, Organic Photonic Materials and Devices XIX, 101010Y (16 February 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2252602
Show Author Affiliations
Robert Green, Univ. of Western Ontario (Canada)
George K. Knopf, Univ. of Western Ontario (Canada)
Evgueni V. Bordatchev, National Research Council Canada (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10101:
Organic Photonic Materials and Devices XIX
Christopher E. Tabor; François Kajzar; Toshikuni Kaino; Yasuhiro Koike, Editor(s)

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