Direct Forming of Microoptics Using a Dynamic Photomask

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Microoptics are key to information processing, optoelectronics, and integrated optics. Existing fabrication methods involve expensive lithographic masks, complicated molding, and reactive ion etching. These methods lack the flexibility in geometry and are often limited to low-profile microoptics, which typically do not possess high numerical aperture required by many applications. The technology is an innovative method to design and fabricate microoptics using dynamic photomasks. It provides

  • A significant degree of freedom in the geometry of the optics;
  • Changing geometries can be done on the fly, without requiring to make or to switch photomasks;
  • Little or no tool contamination and wear compared to a typical replication process; and
  • Low cost, fast turnaround, and flexible design


  • Fast processing
  • Free-form fabrication
  • Design flexibility
  • Scalable
  • Low costs


  • This innovation represents a strategy for manufacturing precision microoptics.
  • The use of a dynamic photomasks offers fast turn-around and enables changing geometries "on the fly".
  • This method accommodates complex and high profile geometries.

Market Potential/Applications

Microoptics arrays

For further information please contact

University of Texas,
Austin, USA
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