Batch-fabrication of a micro-ball lens array (MBA) could not only reduce micro assembly costs but also replace conventional ball lenses or costly GRINs (Gradient Refractive Index) without compromising performance. Compared with conventional half-spherical micro-lenses, the MBA is a spherical micro-lens that can focus light in all directions, thus providing the flexibility required for optical applications. Current MB As are made of SU-8 photoresist by an extrusion process rather than the traditional thermal reflow process. The aim of this study was to develop a new process for MBA batch-fabrication, performed at ambient temperature, by spin-coating SU-8 onto a silicon-wafer surface, which serves as an extrusion plate, and extruding it through a nozzle to form an MBA. The nozzle consists of a nozzle orifice and nozzle cavity, the former being defined and made from SU-8 photoresist using ultra-violet (UV) lithography, which results in good mechanical properties. In this paper, the fabrication of 4 × 4 MBAs with diameters ranging from 60 to 550 um is described. Optical measurements indicated a diameter variance within 3% and a maximum coupling efficiency of approximately 62% when the single mode fiber (SMF) was placed at a distance of 10um from the MBA. The results of this study proved that MBA fabrication by the extrusion process can enhance the coupling efficiency.
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