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Advances in OptoElectronics
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 197549, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/197549
Review Article

From Spheric to Aspheric Solid Polymer Lenses: A Review

1Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Ming Chi University of Technology, Taipei 24301, Taiwan
2iVIEW SBU/CIS-Pixel, Novatek Microelectronics Corporation, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan
3Engineering and System Science Deptartment, NanoEngineering and MicroSystems Institute, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan
4Division of Mechanics, Research Center for Applied Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei 115, Taiwan

Received 9 May 2011; Accepted 27 June 2011

Academic Editor: Eric Pei Yu Chiou

Copyright © 2011 Kuo-Yung Hung et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This paper presents a new approach in the use of MEMS technology to fabricate micro-optofluidic polymer solid lenses in order to achieve the desired profile, focal length, numerical aperture, and spot size. The resulting polymer solid lenses can be applied in optical data storage systems, imaging systems, and automated optical inspection systems. In order to meet the various needs of different applications, polymer solid lenses may have a spherical or aspherical shape. The method of fabricating polymer solid lenses is different from methods used to fabricate tunable lenses with variable focal length or needing an external control system to change the lens geometry. The current trend in polymer solid lenses is toward the fabrication of microlenses with a high numerical aperture, small clear aperture (<2 mm), and high transmittance. In this paper we focus on the use of thermal energy and electrostatic force in shaping the lens profile, including both spherical and aspherical lenses. In addition, the paper discusses how to fabricate a lens with a high numerical aperture of 0.6 using MEMS and also compares the optical characteristics of polymer lens materials, including SU-8, Norland Optical Adhesive (NOA), and cyclic olefin copolymer (COC). Finally, new concepts and applications related to micro-optofluidic lenses and polymer materials are also discussed.