SBIR Phase I: Film MicroStereoLithography for Microlens Fabrication

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$148,389.00
Award Year:
2011
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
1047095
Award Id:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
1047095
Solicitation Year:
2010
Solicitation Topic Code:
NM
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
541 10th Street NW, Suite 121, Atlanta, GA, 30318-5713
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
832766179
Principal Investigator:
FeiDing
(678) 439-7495
alpzhi@gmail.com
Business Contact:
FeiDing
MEng
(678) 439-7495
alpzhi@gmail.com
Research Institute:
Stub




Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project aims to create an innovative technology to manufacture micro-lenses and other micro-optical components, which have a wide variety of applications in areas of telecommunications, precision optics, imaging and display devices, etc., Success in the optics marketplace depends on the ability to introduce newer products in shorter times. Existing micro-lens manufacturing processes have little flexibility and are very expensive for prototype testing and tooling for mass manufacturing. The objective of this project is to develop an intelligent fabrication technology with high flexibility to reduce product development time and cost for micro-lenses by up to 30%. The project will develop a strong scientific understanding of photopolymerization and will achieve high fidelity control over the fabrication process. The project will use a Film Micro-Stereolithography process (FMSL), which uses a computer controlled digital mask to cure photopolymer resin into micro-lenses, by accurately controlling the exposure. Research efforts will focus on improving the FMSL optics system, constructing high fidelity models of resin response, and formulating an improved process planning algorithm. As a result, an intelligent flexible manufacturing process to fabricate high quality reliable micro-lenses will be developed. The commercial potential of this project is two-fold: it will aid in faster introduction of innovative imaging and telecommunication devices to the market place; and will provide the intellectual foundation for improving micro-fabrication processes for the entire Micro-Opto-Electro-Mechanical systems industry. Of the many micro-fabrication technologies which cater to the micro-optics industry, none addresses the growing need to reduce prototyping cost and time associated with fabricating micro-lenses. The FMSL process has a significant potential to provide high manufacturing flexibility along with reduced production cost and time. The enhanced intellectual foundation can be extended to serve industries other than micro-lens arrays. These include fabrication of micro-fluidic channels and micro-optic components on a curved base, which can have applications in fields of drug delivery, surveillance and clean energy. FMSL is an advanced single step additive manufacturing technology that eliminates wasted raw materials, since virtually all raw materials are converted into the final product, and that is environmentally friendly, since no hazardous chemicals are needed.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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