Patent Number: 7,042,649

Title: Microfabricated rubber microscope using soft solid immersion lenses

Abstract: Soft lithography with surface tension control is used to microfabricate extremely efficient solid immersion lenses (SILs) out of rubber elastomeric material for use in microscope type applications. In order to counteract the surface tension of the mold material in a negative mold that causes creep on a positive mold, material such as RTV is partially cured before use in order to allow the reticulation of polymer chains to change the viscosity of the uncured material in a controllable manner. In a specific embodiment, the techniques of soft lithography with surface tension control are used to make molded SILs out of the elastomer polydimethylsiloxane. The lenses achieve an NA in the range of 1.25. The principle of compound lens design is used to make the first compound solid immersion lens, which is corrected for higher light gathering ability and has a calculated NA=1.32. An important application of these lenses is integrated optics for microfluidic devices, specifically in a handheld rubber microscope for microfluidic flow cytometry.

Inventors: Quake; Stephen R. (New York, NY), Gambin; Yann (Paris, FR), Legrand; Oliver (Paris, FR)

Assignee: California Institute of Technology

International Classification: G02B 21/02 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 5/09/02018