A Slim Polymer Film with a Seamless Panoramic Field of View: The Radially Distributed Waveguide Encoded Lattice (RDWEL)

Hao Lin, Ian Dean Hosein, Kathryn Ann Benincasa, Kalaichelvi Saravanamuttu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The nearly hemispherical field of view (FOV) of arthropodal compound eyes has inspired analogs ranging from curved, lens-patterned domes to planar constructs patterned with microlenses. A radial distribution of cylindrical waveguides that monotonically spans ±33° confers an FOV of 115° to a slim (≤3 mm) polymer film. This is the greatest panoramic FOV reported for any plane-faced, single-component structure. The radially distributed waveguide encoded lattice (RDWEL) waveguides are inscribed in a single, room-temperature step by a large (≈15 000 cm−2), converging population of self-trapped incandescent beams elicited in a photopolymerizable epoxide fluid. Because the resulting waveguides are multimoded and polychromatic, the RDWEL operates at all visible wavelengths emitted by broadband (e.g., ambient sunlight) and narrow ranged (e.g., light emitting diodes (LEDs), lasers) sources. Due to the overlap of the angular acceptance ranges between neighboring waveguides, the structure captures light incident at any angle within its FOV. Distinct in the field, the RDWEL confers an exceptionally large, seamless FOV for all visible wavelengths to a planar, single-component, flexible and robust slim film. It therefore holds considerable potential as coatings for enhanced light capture (solar cells), beam shaping (LEDs, projectors), and imaging (smart phones, microscopes, and endoscopes).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1801091
JournalAdvanced Optical Materials
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • bioinspired optics
  • compound eyes
  • field of view
  • nonlinear waves
  • waveguide arrays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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