A novel micron-scale lens, a microlens, is engineered to concentrate light efficiently onto an area of interest, such as a small, light-sensitive detector element in an integrated electronic device. Existing microlens designs imitate the form of large-scale lenses and are less effective at small sizes. The microlenses described herein have been designed to accommodate diffraction effects, which dominate the behavior of light at small length scales. Thus a new class of light-concentrating optical elements with much higher relative performance has been created. Furthermore, the new designs are much easier to fabricate than previous designs.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENTAL SUPPORT
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.