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Electrically Tunable Lens (ETL)

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Electrically Tunable Lens (ETL)ASI’s ETL is a versatile element for a variety of microscopy applications. The ETL can adjust the focal plane of a stationary microscope objective, replacing a focus stage. Using a bare tunable lens introduces significant optical aberrations, but combining the tunable lens with a 4f relay lens system reduces the aberrations to an acceptable level for many applications. ASI’s 4f relay assembly with integrated tunable lens can be placed at the camera port of any microscope with a C-mount interface. ASI’s XYZ Tracker uses a tunable lens in this manner to implement focus feedback on an auxiliary imaging path, allowing the tracker to automatically follow samples moving in Z.

Tunable lenses are commonly used in SPIM to adjust the axial position of the beam waist. In addition to being useful for system alignment and automated adjustments, some light sheet acquisition schemes translate the beam waist synchronously with the camera’s rolling shutter to improve axial resolution (e.g. ASLM, Axially Swept Light Sheet Microscopy). The straightforward way to translate the beam waist is by adding a tunable lens at the entrance to the light sheet generator. ASI offers all the necessary hardware to implement ASLM, including both the tunable lens and light sheet generator.

Another application combines two tunable lenses to make an electronically-adjustable beam expander. Finally, it has been used to implement an electronically adjustable collimator for white light lasers, compensating for the fiber’s wavelength-dependent divergence point. The lens is made of an optic-quality deformable polymer manufactured by Optotune. By applying an electric current, the shape of the polymer changes. Thus, the focal length of the lens can be adjusted to a desired value within milliseconds. ASI-designed drive electronics have better performance than alternatives, and also allow tunable lenses to be easily synchronized with other microscope components.

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MicroscopymicroscopeProductsETLdeformable lenslight sheet microscopySPIMASLMaxially swept light sheet microscopyselective plane illumination microscopyremote focusingAdjustable collimatorselectrically tunable lens

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