Here, we demonstrate liquid compound micro-lenses with dynamically tunable focal lengths, inspired by the architectures found in the retina of nocturnal animals. The lenses are formed from bi-phase emulsion droplets that can be reconfigured to focus or scatter light, and to form images. We provide evidence of the micro-lenses’ potential functionality in applications ranging from integral micro-scale imaging devices and light field display technology and also elaborate on a variety of lens-tuning mechanisms.

© 2018 The Author(s)

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