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Liquid Drop Lenses for Miniature Sensors

We introduce a lens fabrication method for computational imagers with on-contact dispensing of high-viscous UV curable epoxies on planar substrates. We further model and calibrate these lenses, and demonstrate applications in stereo and multi-aperture imaging. In our method, we dispense a calibrated volume of high-viscous epoxy on a planar substrate. At equilibrium, the natural balancing of forces acting on the surface of the epoxy drop makes it acquire the shape of a lens. Dispensing multiple such drops at predetermined positions followed by ultra-violet curing allows us to inexpensively fabricate a variety of multiple aperture lens designs. We fabricate lenses with various diameters and focal lengths by controlling the volume of epoxy dispensed on the substrate. Further, we present a model describing the shape of a liquid drop where aspheric coefficients up to 8th order can be calculated knowing only the radius of the lens. We import our model into Zemax to simulate the lens properties, including the influence of gravity in reducing spherical aberration. [See COSI 2013]