Discretely tunable optofluidic compound microlenses†
We report a novel method to fabricate high zoom-ratio optofluidic compound microlenses using poly(dimethylsiloxane) with multi-layer architecture. The layered structure of deformable lenses, biconvex and plano-concave, are self-aligned as a group. The refractive index contrast of each lens, which is controlled by filling the chambers with a specific medium, is the key factor for determining the device's numerical aperture. The chip has multiple independent pneumatic valves that can be digitally switched on and off, pushing the liquid into the lens chambers with great accuracy and consistency. This quickly and precisely tunes the focal length of the microlens device from centimetres to sub-millimetre. The system has great potential for applications in portable microscopic imaging, bio-sensing, and laser beam configuration.