Browse Prior Art Database

Light Diffuser With Controlled Divergence

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000061029D
Original Publication Date: 1986-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-09
Document File: 2 page(s) / 49K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Johnson, GW: AUTHOR

Abstract

Light diffusers can be fabricated using the newly developed gradient-index planar microlens technology, much like "fly's eye" lens arrays have been used in the past. Currently, these graded index planar microlenses are being fabricated only in fiber-optic sizes and are arranged in very orderly patterns. If the distributed index microlenses are arranged randomly or are closely spaced or are made to over lap, efficient extended light sources of controlled numerical aperture (N.A.) can be formed. Fig. 1 is a cross-sectional view of a typical gradient index microlens 16 with collimated incident light 12 and converging output light 14. Plate 10 has polished flat surfaces 18, 20 and ion diffused regions 16 forming imbedded gradient index lenses of a diameter typically on the order of about 100 microns to about 2 millimeters.

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Light Diffuser With Controlled Divergence

Light diffusers can be fabricated using the newly developed gradient-index planar microlens technology, much like "fly's eye" lens arrays have been used in the past. Currently, these graded index planar microlenses are being fabricated only in fiber-optic sizes and are arranged in very orderly patterns. If the distributed index microlenses are arranged randomly or are closely spaced or are made to over lap, efficient extended light sources of controlled numerical aperture (N.A.) can be formed. Fig. 1 is a cross-sectional view of a typical gradient index microlens 16 with collimated incident light 12 and converging output light 14. Plate 10 has polished flat surfaces 18, 20 and ion diffused regions 16 forming imbedded gradient index lenses of a diameter typically on the order of about 100 microns to about 2 millimeters. A randomly positioned pattern of microlenses is illustrated in Fig. 2.1. Since the glass or plastic substrate and the diffusion materials would be transparent, there would be no visible outline around each microlens. In addition to non-uniform positioning, the diameters of the microlenses also need not be uniform. Fig. 2.2 illustrates a cross-sectional view of such a microlens pattern having non-uniform diameters and non-uniform position placements. For random arrangements of microlenses (or uniform arrangements), a plot can be made of the relative frequency of microlenses having a particular diameter versus microlens diameter. Fig. 3.1 illustrates such a plot for a lens array where all of the lenses have very nearly the same diameter, either a regular array (Fig. 3.2) or a random array (Fig. 3.3). Fig. 4.1 shows a plot for a lens array (Fig. 4.2) where all lenses have a diameter very nearly equal to one of two possible diameters. The plot in Fig. 5.1 correspond...