Microlenses: Properties, Fabrication and Liquid Lenses

Hongrui Jiang, Xuefeng Zeng

April 16, 2013 by CRC Press
Reference - 228 Pages - 176 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781439836699 - CAT# K11658
Series: Series in Optics and Optoelectronics

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  • Represents the first reference to discuss the progress on microlenses, specifically liquid-based microlenses
  • Emphasizes both tunable and non-tunable microlenses
  • Discusses many microfabrication techniques, including deposition, photolithography, etching, annealing, liquid-phase photopolymerization, micromolding, electroplating, laser-assisted processes, and more
  • Presents a review of the physics behind microlenses
  • Examines the challenges surrounding current microlenses
  • Includes extensive references in each chapter that reflect the state of the art in the field


Due to the development of microscale fabrication methods, microlenses are being used more and more in many unique applications, such as artificial implementations of compound eyes, optical communications, and labs-on-chips. Liquid microlenses, in particular, represent an important and growing research area yet there are no books devoted to this topic that summarize the research to date. Rectifying this deficiency, Microlenses: Properties, Fabrication and Liquid Lenses examines the recent progress in the emerging field of liquid-based microlenses.

After describing how certain problems in optics can be solved by liquid microlenses, the book introduces the physics and fabrication methods involved in microlenses. It also details the facility and equipment requirements for general fabrication methods. The authors then present examples of various microlenses with non-tunable and tunable focal lengths based on different mechanisms, including:

  • Non-tunable microlenses: Ge/SiO2 core/shell nanolenses, glass lenses made by isotropic etching, self-assembled lenses and lens arrays, lenses fabricated by direct photo-induced polymerization, lenses formed by thermally reflowing photoresist, lenses formed from inkjet printing, arrays fabricated through molding processes, and injection-molded plastic lenses
  • Electrically tuned microlenses: liquid crystal-based lenses and liquid lenses driven by electrostatic forces, dielectrophoretic forces, electrowetting, and electrochemical reactions
  • Mechanically tunable microlenses: thin-membrane lenses with varying apertures, pressures, and surface shapes; swellable hydrogel lenses; liquid–liquid interface lenses actuated by environmentally stimuli-responsive hydrogels; and oscillating lens arrays driven by sound waves
  • Horizontal microlenses: two-dimensional polymer lenses, tunable and movable liquid droplets as lenses, hydrodynamically tuned cylindrical lenses, liquid core and liquid cladding lenses, air–liquid interface lenses, and tunable liquid gradient refractive index lenses

The book concludes by summarizing the importance of microlenses, shedding light on future microlens work, and exploring related challenges, such as the packaging of systems, effects of gravity, evaporation of liquids, aberrations, and integration with other optical components.