Nonmechanical bifocal zoom telescope

College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA.
Optics Letters (Impact Factor: 3.29). 08/2010; 35(15):2582-4. DOI: 10.1364/OL.35.002582
Source: PubMed


We report on a novel zoom lens with no moving parts in the form of a switchable Galilean telescope. This zoom telescope consists of two flat liquid-crystal diffractive lenses with apertures of 10mm that can each take on the focal lengths of -50 and +100cm, with a spacing of 50cm and, hence, a zoom ratio of 4x. The lenses are driven using a low-voltage ac source with 1.6V and exhibit millisecond switching times. The spectral characteristic of this diffractive zoom system is evaluated for light sources of various bandwidths. Potential applications for this technology include a zoom lens with no moving parts for camera phones and medical imaging devices.

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    • "The focal lengths are electronically switchable to fractions of the maximum design focal length in milliseconds. It is also possible to achieve negative focal lengths by reversing the order in which the voltages are applied to the diffractive lenses, thus reversing the slope of the phase profile [2,3]. "
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    ABSTRACT: We demonstrate a variable focal length achromatic lens that consists of a flat liquid crystal diffractive lens and a pressure-controlled fluidic refractive lens. The diffractive lens is composed of a flat binary Fresnel zone structure and a thin liquid crystal layer, producing high efficiency and millisecond switching times while applying a low ac voltage input. The focusing power of the diffractive lens is adjusted by electrically modifying the sub-zones and re-establishing phase wrapping points. The refractive lens includes a fluid chamber with a flat glass surface and an opposing elastic polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) membrane surface. Inserting fluid volume through a pump system into the clear aperture region alters the membrane curvature and adjusts the refractive lens' focal position. Primary chromatic aberration is remarkably reduced through the coupling of the fluidic and diffractive lenses at selected focal lengths. Potential applications include miniature color imaging systems, medical and ophthalmic devices, or any design that utilizes variable focal length achromats.
    Optics Express 04/2011; 19(8):7468-79. DOI:10.1364/OE.19.007468 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An electrically tunable zooming LCOS pico projector using composite liquid crystal (LC) lenses is demonstrated. The composite LC lens consists of two built-in sub-lenses: one is an electrically tunable focusing lens controlled by a LC layer and the other is a fixed focused polymeric lens. The zoom ratio of the electrically tunable zooming pico projector can reach 2.5∶1 when the screen distance at 20 cm. The tunable focusing ranges are 200 cm to ∼10 cm and the response times is around 3.8 sec. The image performance of the electrically tunable focusing LCOS pico projector is also demonstrated.
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    ABSTRACT: An electrically tunable-focusing optical zoom system using two composite LC lenses with a large zoom ratio is demonstrated. The optical principle is investigated. To enhance the electrically tunable focusing range of the negative lens power of the LC lens for a large zoom ratio, we adopted two composite LC lenses. Each composite LC lens consists of a sub-LC lens and a planar polymeric lens. The zoom ratio of the optical zooming system reaches ~7.9:1 and the object can be zoomed in or zoomed out continuously at the objective distance of infinity to 10 cm. The potential applications are cell phones, cameras, telescope and pico projectors.
    Optics Express 02/2011; 19(5):4714-21. DOI:10.1364/OE.19.004714 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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