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Chinese Optics Letters, Vol. 17, Issue 6, 061702 (2019)

Tunable protein microlens array 

Zhishan Hou, Jiaji Cao, Aiwu Li*, and Han Yang**

Author Affiliations

  • State Key Laboratory on Integrated Optoelectronics, College of Electronic Science and Engineering, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, China


Based on natural protein materials, a series of lenses with different heights and focal lengths were assembled on glass substrates by femtosecond laser non-contact, masking, and cold processing. This lens array itself possesses unique and characteristic optical performance in three-dimensional parallel imaging and bending imaging. What is more profound is that by using equilibrium swelling of protein-hydrogel, once the lens array was placed in a liquid environment, with the change of ion concentration (e.g., pH), the refractive index and curvature of the protein-hydrogel would change, which leads to the flex of the focal plane of the lens, finally realizing the dynamical tunability of a protein microlens. These smart stress devices may have great potential in optical biosensing and microfluidic chip integration fields.