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Fluidic Lens Forms Different Lens Types

Photonics Spectra
Jun 2004
A fluidic adaptive lens developed at the University of California, San Diego, in La Jolla transforms into different types of lenses as well as offering dynamically tunable optical properties. A description of the device appeared in the May 24 issue of Applied Physics Letters.

The lens comprises two polydimethylsiloxane fluidic chambers sandwiching a 150-µm-thick glass slide. The chambers are filled with a solution of deionized water and sodium chromate, and changing the pressure of the fluid in the chambers deforms their shape, creating different types of lenses with widely tunable focal lengths.

In experiments with the 20-mm-aperture lens, university researchers obtained focal lengths as short as 14.3 mm from a positive lens and –6.3 mm from a negative one. Resolution was better than 40 line pairs per millimeter, and they estimate that chromatic aberration is similar to that of glass lenses.


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