Microlenses self-aligned to optical fibers fabricated using the hydrophobic effect

Daniel M. Hartmann, Daniel J. Reiley, Sadik C. Esener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In this letter, we report a means of fabricating microlenses on transparent spacers that are self-aligned to optical fibers. The lenses so formed have f-numbers (f#s) as low as f/1.55 and can be fabricated with minimal processing steps. Lenses can be fabricated desirably "over-sized," with input apertures larger than operational beam diameters. The lenses deviate from spherical by as little as ±80 nm over the middle 90% of their surfaces, and are diffraction limited when used in their paraxial regions. Previous work suggests that arrays of such lenses can be fabricated in parallel with good uniformity (Δ f/f ∼ ± 5.9% for a 15 × 15 array or 500 μm f/1.4 lenses), stability, and reproducibility (average f#s are reproducible to within 3.5%). Although coupling efficiencies have not been measured, these values suggest that the lenses are of sufficient quality for a variety of multimode fiber applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1088-1090
Number of pages3
JournalIEEE Photonics Technology Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Fabrication
  • Hydrophobic
  • Lenses
  • Microassembly
  • Microlens
  • Optical fiber devices
  • Optical fibers
  • Self-assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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