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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 736562, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/736562
Research Article

Noncontact Microembossing Technology for Fabricating Thermoplastic Optical Polymer Microlens Array Sheets

1School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering, Xiamen University of Technology, Xiamen 361024, China
2Key Laboratory of Precision Actuation and Transmission, Fujian Province University, Xiamen 361024, China
3School of Materials Science and Engineering, Xiamen University of Technology, Xiamen 361024, China

Received 14 April 2014; Revised 25 May 2014; Accepted 26 May 2014; Published 4 August 2014

Academic Editor: Luciano De Sio

Copyright © 2014 Xuefeng Chang 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

Thermoplastic optical polymers have replaced traditional optical glass for many applications, due to their superior optical performance, mechanical characteristics, low cost, and efficient production process. This paper investigates noncontact microembossing technology used for producing microlens arrays made out of PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate), PS (polyStyrene), and PC (polycarbonate) from a quartz mold, with microhole arrays. An array of planoconvex microlenses are formed because of surface tension caused by applying pressure to the edge of a hole at a certain glass transition temperature. We studied the principle of noncontact microembossing techniques using finite element analysis, in addition to the thermal and mechanical properties of the three polymers. Then, the independently developed hot-embossing equipment was used to fabricate microlens arrays on PMMA, PS, and PC sheets. This is a promising technique for fabricating diverse thermoplastic optical polymer microlens array sheets, with a simple technological process and low production costs.