Digital printing of hydrogel based diffractive optical elements

Zheng Xiong, Pranav Soman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution


Soft biomaterials have been proposed as outstanding candidates for soft micro-optics and photonics applications due to their optical transparency and unique biocompatibility. However, there is still lacking a facile strategy that can rapidly and biofriendly prototype biomaterials into micro-optics. Here, we present a novel method, digital micromirror device (DMD) based rapid photopatterning that can fabricate microfeatures on hydrogel within seconds. Several diffractive optics including transmission 1D/2D gratings, beam splitter, Fresnel Zone Plate lenses and computer-generated holograms were produced. The optical performance of these optical devices was characterized and indicates that this method enables prototyping user-defined micro-optics with high fidelity. This versatile photopatterning technique can therefore be a potential route to develop precise soft optical microfeatures using any photosensitive biomaterials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvanced Fabrication Technologies for Micro/Nano Optics and Photonics XIV
EditorsGeorg von Freymann, Eva Blasco, Debashis Chanda
ISBN (Electronic)9781510642270
StatePublished - 2021
EventAdvanced Fabrication Technologies for Micro/Nano Optics and Photonics XIV 2021 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Mar 6 2021Mar 11 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceAdvanced Fabrication Technologies for Micro/Nano Optics and Photonics XIV 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online


  • Diffraction
  • Hydrogel
  • Micro-optics
  • Projection photolithography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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