This paper reports the creation of a tandem liquid crystal cell arrangement capable of simulating the performance of a spherical lens. Electrical modulation of the index of refraction creates focusing behavior. The modulation is induced by a set of electrodes whose individual voltages are arranged to provide a cylindrical exit wave front for a uniform plane-wave input. Two such cells with orthogonal electrodes arranged in cascade create spherical lens performance. Experimental evidence using a lens with a relatively small number of electrodes is presented. Applications for such structures, once improved, would include real-time focus adjustment for optical disk readers and hand-held photographic equipment as well as aberration compensation for long path-length optical systems.
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