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Micromilled optical elements for edge-lit illumination panels

[+] Author Affiliations
Rahima Afrose Ronny

University of Western Ontario, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, London, Ontario, N6A 5B9 Canada

George K. Knopf

University of Western Ontario, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, London, Ontario, N6A 5B9 Canada

Evgueni Bordatchev

National Research Council of Canada, London, Ontario, N6G 4X8 Canada

Suwas Nikumb

National Research Council of Canada, London, Ontario, N6G 4X8 Canada

J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS. 12(2), 023002 (Apr 25, 2013). doi:10.1117/1.JMM.12.2.023002
History: Received November 30, 2012; Revised March 14, 2013; Accepted March 26, 2013
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Abstract.  Edge-lit light guide panels (LGPs) with micropatterned surfaces represent a new technology for developing small- and medium-sized illumination sources for application such as automotive, residential lighting, and advertising displays. The shape, density, and spatial distribution of the micro-optical structures (MOSs) imprinted on the transparent LGP must be selected to achieve high brightness and uniform luminance over the active surface. We examine how round-tip cylindrical MOSs fabricated by precision micromilling can be used to create patterned surfaces on low-cost transparent polymethyl-methacrylate substrates for high-intensity illumination applications. The impact of varying the number, pitch, spatial distribution, and depth of the optical microstructures on lighting performance is initially investigated using LightTools™ simulation software. To illustrate the microfabrication process, several 100×100×6mm3 LGP prototypes are constructed and tested. The prototypes include an “optimized” array of MOSs that exhibit near-uniform illumination (approximately 89%) across its active light-emitting surface. Although the average illumination was 7.3% less than the value predicted from numerical simulation, it demonstrates how LGPs can be created using micromilling operations. Customized MOS arrays with a bright rectangular pattern near the center of the panel and a sequence of MOSs that illuminate a predefined logo are also presented.

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© 2013 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Rahima Afrose Ronny ; George K. Knopf ; Evgueni Bordatchev and Suwas Nikumb
"Micromilled optical elements for edge-lit illumination panels", J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS. 12(2), 023002 (Apr 25, 2013). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JMM.12.2.023002


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