University of Massachusetts Amherst

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BUMP: BUckled Microlens Patterns for Optics and Adhesion

LEAD INVENTOR:
Alfred J. Crosby, Ph.D.
 
DESCRIPTION
This technology provides a rapid, low-cost and versatile method for fabricating microlens arrays based on surface wrinkling. Surface wrinkling is a shape instability that occurs upon the application of a critical compressive stress to a material. This fabrication method uses selective surface modification and controlled swelling of an elastomeric layer to cause spontaneous formation of aligned wrinkles and microlens structures at the modified sites of the layer. The curvature of the microlens structures can be easily tuned by adjusting the size and/or the thickness of the modified sites.
 
ADVANTAGES

  • Rapid patterning: This technology allows for rapid generation of microlens arrays over macroscopic dimensions by eliminating lengthy patterning steps associated with conventional patterning techniques.
  • Low-cost fabrication: Microlens arrays or compound lenses can be fabricated efficiently without the need of cost-prohibitive patterning techniques.
  • High tunability: The fabrication method allows for easy tuning of microlens array dimensions to meet the needs of various end-use applications.
  • High versatility: The surface-wrinkling-based patterning process is amenable to both planar and nonplanar substrates, as well as to a wide variety of elastomeric materials, enabling the fabrication of a multitude of functional articles.
 
APPLICATIONS

  • Tunable optical refractive devices
  • Compound lenses for multi-angular light detection
  • Smart surfaces for adhesion control
  • True pressure-sensitive adhesives
  • Self-cleaning surfaces
  • Mechanical strain sensors
  • Microfluidic devices
  • Cell culture containers
ABOUT THE INVENTOR
Dr. Alfred J. Crosby is a Professor in the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering at The University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research focuses on adhesion and friction of patterned interfaces, properties of polymer/nanoparticle composites, and mechanics of biomaterial structures. The Crosby research group uses various examples of hierarchical design and fabrication in nature to inspire the development of unique classes of materials and material interfacial/surface structures useful for various commercial applications. Dr. Crosby is a prolific inventor, and has received many awards and honors for his nature-inspired research.
AVAILABILITY:
Available for Licensing or Sponsored Research.
DOCKET:
UMA 07-12
PATENT STATUS:
US Patents 7,858,156 and 7,978,416 issued
Category(s):
Material science
Devices
Contact:
Ling Shen
Senior Licensing Officer
University of Massachusetts
413-545-5276
lxshen@research.umass.edu
Inventor(s):
Edwin Chan
Alfred Crosby
Keywords: