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    Date submitted
  • 25-Jun-2018

Facile fabrication of optical lens

Abstract

The goal of this idea is to provide an inexpensive lens using an facile manufacturing method. The lens may be made of a product and sold, or may be sold as a manufacturing technique.

Video

Original YouTube URL: Open

Introduction Video

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

Student (optical related project), Researcher (electronics, optics, energy harvesting, bio monitoring), Engineer, Camper (solar energy storage), gardener (light concentration).

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

The plano-convex lens and its array have been utilized to a wide range of applications by leveraging its well-established optical theory including a street light diffuser, a solar concentrator in photovoltaic systems, optical sensor in automotive parts, artificial eye in biomimicry robotics, monitoring lens in biomedical devices, pattern recognizer, and laser exposure system, to name a few. For various demands, therefore, the simplification of the fabrication process and the versatility of the product are important from a productive point of view. A simple polymeric lens fabrication method, leveraging the advantage of electric-field assisted droplet shooting, which is applicable to both flexible and dielectric substrates. A lens dimension control is one of the crucial factors in determining the versatility of a lens. Using this method, the dimension of the micrometer to millimeter scale lenses and associated focal length can be determined simultaneously and the arrays of lenses can be fabricated with reliability and reproducibility. This means that even with polymer materials of the same size, the level of the electric field can be utilized to control the dimension of the convex lenses including the radius of curvature, diameter, thickness associated focal length effectively. In addition, by bending the substrate, the fabricated lens can be operated as a meniscus form factor as well. The meniscus deformation can reduce the ray deviation and control focal length precisely. Lenses for projects, research and short-term use amount to tens of dollars. However, the lens that is born with this idea is expected to stay for several dollars.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

Consulting to make manufacturing more sophisticated. Marketing analysis for customer segmentation and sales strategy development. Funding to improve the reliability of technology.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

In order to ensure the reliability and usability of this technology, we are studying the uniformity and practical application of lens products. The study has just accepted as a research paper in a Journal of Advanced Materials Technologies. This method is not the first to utilize the electric field assisted fabrication to control polymeric material. However, to the best of our knowledge, the previous efforts have focused on only the control of volume and diameter through varying nozzle size modifying hydrophobicity, and ink-jet printing based varying voltage frequency. The presented simple method is advanced in that it is affordable, applicable to a variety of materials, flexible and dielectric substrates, and scalable.