Compliant Surface - FAIL!

I got all excited when I removed the acrylic from it's temporary home while the compliant surface was curing. I was all prepared to see wonderfully bright blobs as a dragged my fingers across the acrylic. All prepared to start experimenting with this exciting new interface.

Sadly, my hopes were crushed.

While the silicone layer appears ultra smooth with no air bubbles and is pretty clear (I hesitate to call it crystal clear), it still requires a lot of force during movement to set off the FTIR. I'm not entirely sure what the issue is. It could be that my inaccurate measurement of the liquid silicone and catalyst have resulted in something that is too hard or that the optical properties of my chosen silicone rubber aren't ideal. Either way, I'm going to need to apply a new layer before I can continue. Fortunately, I've found a couple of distributors of the more popular silicone - Sorta Clear. Most folks seem to have pretty good results with Sorta Clear, so I'll try it out and see what happens.






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