Advanced Materials

Functional Biomimetic Microlens Arrays with Integrated Pores


  • The authors are grateful to A. Hale (OFS) for providing Irgacure 261 (Ciba Specialty Chemicals) in the experiments and helpful discussion of photosensitized holography in visible light. We acknowledge M. Li (Cornell) for discussion of microfluidics assemblies. The authors also thank their respective financial sources: Air Force DURINT in conjunction with the University of Buffalo (CKU), and ISN ARO (ELT).


Synthetic, biomimetic microlens arrays with integrated pores are presented for the first time. Their appearance and function are strikingly similar to their biological prototype—a highly efficient optical element formed by brittlestars (see Figure; biological (left) and synthetic (right) lens arrays). The microlenses have a strong focusing ability, and light-absorbing liquids can be transported in and out of the pores between the lenses, allowing tunability of their optical properties over a wide range.

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