Departmental Papers (MSE)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

August 2006


The interest in dynamically tuning light has attracted great attention to the fabrication of tunable microlens arrays. Here we discuss the fabrication and characterization of a simple, robust, yet tunable microfluidic optical device with integrated microlens array. The microfuidic device with desired channel structure was micromachined on a polycarbonate plate with a resolution up to 100 µm, followed by thermal bonding two plates above their glass transition temperature. The microlens arrays were replica molded on a glass slide, which was then attached to the polycarbonate plates. By simply actuating the liquids with variable refractive index into the fluidic channel to immerse the lens arrays without moving or deformation of microlenses, a large change of focal length of more than 10 times (ƒ=0.74 to 8.53) was achieved. When a dye-containing liquid was pumped into the microfluidic channel to cover the lenses, the light transmission through the lenses was reduced from about 95% to 55% when the dye concentration was increased to 10 w/v %. The knowledge we gain from these studies will provide important insights to contruct new, adaptive, micro-scale optical devices with multiple functionalities.


Postprint version. Published in Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, Volume 16, Issue 8, August 2006, pages 1660-1666.


microlens arrays, variable focus, variable transmission, fluidic channels



Date Posted: 20 July 2006

This document has been peer reviewed.