[OPTICAL REVIEW Vol. 4, No. 4 (1997) 516-520]

Ultraviolet-Cured Polymer Micro-Optical Elements

Takashi OKAMOTO,1 Ryo OHMORI,1 Seiichiro HAYAKAWA2, Iwao SEO2 and Heihachi SATO1

1Department of Electrical Engineering, National Defense Academy, Hashirimizu, 1-10-20, Yokosuka 239, Japan, 2Tsukuba Research Center, Mitsubishi Chemical Co., Inashiki-gun, Ibaraki 300-03, Japan

(Received March 5, 1997; Accepted May 7, 1997)

A new fabrication method for polymer micro-optical elements is described which uses the contracting effect of photopolymers during the process of polymerization. Convex and concave microlens arrays and phase gratings were formed by irradiating a ultraviolet (UV)-curable monomer with incoherent UV light through an appropriate metallic mask. The morphological and optical characterization of the fabricated elements reveals that the surface profile of the elements depends on the pattern and aperture size of the mask employed.

Key words : micro-optical element, microlens array, phase grating, ultraviolet-cured polymer