Design, Fabrication and Testing of Hierarchical Micro-optical Structures and Systems
1 online resource (137 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Micro-optical systems are becoming essential components in imaging, sensing, communications, computing, and other applications. Optically based designs are replacing electronic, chemical and mechanical systems for a variety of reasons, including low power consumption, reduced maintenance, and faster operation. However, as the number and variety of applications increases, micro-optical system designs are becoming smaller, more integrated, and more complicated. Micro and nano-optical systems found in nature, such as the imaging systems found in many insects and crustaceans, can have highly integrated optical structures that vary in size by orders of magnitude. These systems incorporate components such as compound lenses, anti-reflective lens surface structuring, spectral filters, and polarization selective elements. For animals, these hybrid optical systems capable of many optical functions in a compact package have been repeatedly selected during the evolutionary process. Understanding the advantages of these designs gives motivation for synthetic optical systems with comparable functionality. However, alternative fabrication methods that deviate from conventional processes are needed to create such systems. Further complicating the issue, the resulting device geometry may not be readily compatible with existing measurement techniques. This dissertation explores several nontraditional fabrication techniques for optical components with hierarchical geometries and measurement techniques to evaluate performance of such components. A micro-transfer molding process is found to produce high-fidelity micro-optical structures and is used to fabricate a spectral filter on a curved surface. By using a custom measurement setup we demonstrate that the spectral filter retains functionality despite the nontraditional geometry. A compound lens is fabricated using similar fabrication techniques and the imaging performance is analyzed. A spray coating technique for photoresist application to curved surfaces combined with interference lithography is also investigated. Using this technique, we generate polarizers on curved surfaces and measure their performance. This work furthers an understanding of how combining multiple optical components affects the performance of each component, the final integrated devices, and leads towards realization of biomimetically inspired imaging systems.
Optical Science and Engineering
Davies, AngelaDavies, MattJohnson, Eric
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2011.
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