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Opt Express. 2011 Aug 29;19(18):17506-19. doi: 10.1364/OE.19.017506.

Optical Cluster Eye fabricated on wafer-level.

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Fraunhofer-Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering, Jena, Germany.


Wafer-level optics is considered as a cost-effective approach to miniaturized cameras, because fabrication and assembly are carried out for thousands of lenses in parallel. However, in most cases the micro-optical fabrication process is not mature enough to reach the required accuracy of the optical elements, which may have complex profiles and sags in the mm-scale. Contrary, the creation of microlens arrays is well controllable so that we propose a multi aperture system called "Optical Cluster Eye" which is based on conventional micro-optical fabrication techniques. The proposed multi aperture camera consists of many optical channels each transmitting a segment of the whole field of view. The design of the system provides the stitching of the partial images, so that a seamless image is formed and a commercially available image sensor can be used. The system can be fabricated on wafer-level with high yield due to small aperture diameters and low sags. The realized optics has a lateral size of 2.2 × 2.9 mm2, a total track length of 1.86 mm, and captures images at VGA video resolution.


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