Advanced Technologies in the Fabrication of a Micro-Optical Light Splitter

Giovanna Stella, Lorena Saitta, Alfredo Edoardo Ongaro, Gianluca Cicala, Maïwenn Kersaudy-Kerhoas, Maide Bucolo

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In microfluidics, it is important to confine and transport light as close as possible to the sample by guiding it into a small volume of the microfluidic channel, acquiring the emitted/transmitted radiation. A challenge in this context is the miniaturization of the optical components and their integration into the microfluidic device. Among all of the optical components, a particular role is played by the beam splitter, an important optical device capable of splitting light into several paths. In this paper, a micro-splitter is designed and realized by exploiting low-cost technologies. The micro-splitter consists of a micro-mirror in-between two micro-waveguides. This component was fabricated in different materials: poly-dimethyl-siloxane (PDMS), poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), and VeroClear RGD810. A 3D printing master–slave fabrication protocol was used with PDMS, a direct 3D printing approach with VeroClear, and a laser cutting procedure with PMMA. The experimental results obtained show the high potential of the proposed fabrication protocols, based on low-cost technologies, for the realization of micro-optical components, which could also be easily integrated with microfluidics systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-352
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2023


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