This Letter proposes a confined laser swelling method to fabricate large curvature microlens arrays. Unlike the polymers in conventional free laser swelling, the swelling polymer, which is methyl red-doped polymethyl methacrylate here, is confined between walls formed by a substrate and a flexible cover layer. Because swelling occurs in an enclosed space, decomposed segments remain in the matrix, resulting in a large hump at the side of the flexible cover layer. The results show that these humps are tens of times higher than those acquired by conventional methods and this method has potential for high efficiency large curvature microlens fabrication.
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