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Opt Express. 2010 Aug 16;18(17):18125-37. doi: 10.1364/OE.18.018125.

Development of a 3D artificial compound eye.

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Department of Integrated Systems Engineering, The Ohio State University, 210 Baker Systems, 1971 Neil Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.


In this research paper, in a major departure from conventional 2D micromachining processes, design and fabrication of a 3D compound eye system consisting of a 3D microprism array, an aperture array, and a microlens array were investigated. Specifically, the 3D microprism array on a curved surface was designed to steer the incident light from all three dimensions to a 2D plane for image formation. For each microprism, there is a corresponding microlens to focus the refracted light on the image plane. An aperture array was also implemented between the microprism array and the microlens array to eliminate cross-talk among the neighboring channels. In this system, 601 individual micro-assemblies consisting of microprisms and microlenses were constructed in a 20 mm diameter area. In this configuration, the maximum light deviation angle was determined to be 18.43 degrees. This research demonstrated an innovative and integrated approach to fabricating true 3D micro and meso scale optical structures. This work also validated the feasibility of using ultraprecision machining process for 3D microoptical device fabrication. The technology demonstrated in this research has high potentials in optical sensing, vision research and many other optical and photonic applications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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