Fiber‐free coupling between bulk laser beams and on‐chip polymer‐based multimode waveguides

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2011

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In this paper, we demonstrate the design of a virtually alignment‐free optical setup for use with microfluidic applications involving a layered glass/SU‐8/PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane) chip. We show how inexpensive external lenses combined with carefully designed on‐chip lenses can be used to couple light from a bulk beam to on‐chip waveguides and back into a bulk beam again. Using this setup, as much as 20% of the light coming from the source can be retrieved after passing through the on‐chip waveguides. The proposed setup is based on a pin‐aided alignment system that makes it possible to change chips in the optical train in only a few seconds with a standard deviation of about 2% in the transmitted power. Furthermore, we demonstrate how these optical setups can be combined with microfluidics to create an on‐chip flow cytometer enabling detection and counting of polystyrene particles down to 1 μm at a rate of 100 Hz.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1224-1232
StatePublished - 2011
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 5


  • Waveguides, Lenses, Light coupling, Alignment‐free, Cytometry
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ID: 5629519