Materials, Photonic Devices, and Sensors

Ink-jet printed fluorescent materials as light sources for planar optical waveguides on polymer foils

[+] Author Affiliations
Patrick Bollgruen

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT), Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen 76344, Germany

University of Freiburg, Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK), Laboratory for Materials Processing, Georges-Koehler-Allee 102, Freiburg 79110, Germany

Uwe Gleissner, Christof Megnin

University of Freiburg, Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK), Laboratory for Materials Processing, Georges-Koehler-Allee 102, Freiburg 79110, Germany

Tim Wolfer, Ludger Overmeyer

University of Hanover, Institute of Transport and Automation Technology (ITA), An der Universitaet 2, Garbsen 30823, Germany

Dario Mager, Jan G. Korvink

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT), Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen 76344, Germany

Thomas Hanemann

University of Freiburg, Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK), Laboratory for Materials Processing, Georges-Koehler-Allee 102, Freiburg 79110, Germany

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute for Applied Materials (IAM), Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen 76344, Germany

Opt. Eng. 55(10), 107107 (Oct 26, 2016). doi:10.1117/1.OE.55.10.107107
History: Received June 28, 2016; Accepted October 4, 2016
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Abstract.  Polymer-based optical sensor networks on foils (planar optronic systems) are a promising research field, but it can be challenging to supply them with light. We present a solvent-free, ink-jet printable material system with optically active substances to create planar light sources for these networks. The ink is based on a UV-curable monomer, the fluorescent agents are Eu(DBM)3Phen or 9,10-diphenylantracene, which fluoresce at 612 or 430 nm, respectively. We demonstrate the application as light source by printing a small area of fluorescent material on an optical waveguide fabricated by flexographic printing on PMMA foil, resulting in a simple polymer-optical device fabricated entirely by additive deposition techniques. When excited by a 405-nm laser of 10 mW, the emitted light couples into the waveguide and appears at the end of the waveguide. In comparison to conventional light sources, the intensity is weak but could be detected with a photodiode power sensor. In return, the concept has the advantage of being completely independent of any electrical elements or external cable connections.

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© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Patrick Bollgruen ; Uwe Gleissner ; Tim Wolfer ; Christof Megnin ; Dario Mager, et al.
"Ink-jet printed fluorescent materials as light sources for planar optical waveguides on polymer foils", Opt. Eng. 55(10), 107107 (Oct 26, 2016). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.55.10.107107


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