, Volume 68, Issue 6, pp 709-713

Micro-lens arrays generated by UV laser irradiation of doped PMMA

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Micro-lenses with well-defined optical parameters are generated on polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) substrates doped with diphenyltriazene (DPT) by controlled use of a swelling effect generated under conditions of subablative excimer laser illumination. The surface profiles depend on the laser spot size and energy density. A sensitively balanced combination of matrix softening, substrate volume expansion due to photochemical nitrogen release, and surface tension is responsible for the final shape of the lenses. Complete arrays of identical lenses with 15 μm diameters and a focal length of 30 μm are produced by irradiation of (0.25 wt. %) DPT-PMMA with a single laser pulse at a wavelength of 308 nm and a fluence of 3 J/cm2. It is shown experimentally and theoretically that appropriate volume expansion is possible without introducing internal light scattering due to the formation of small bubbles.

Received: 7 April 1999 / Accepted: 8 April 1999 / Published online: 5 May 1999