Abstract

We propose and demonstrate a novel liquid deformable mirror, based on electrocapillary actuation, for high-order wavefront correction. The device consists of a two-dimensional array of vertically oriented microchannels filled with two immiscible liquids, an aqueous electrolyte, and a viscous dielectric liquid, where the dielectric liquid overfills the top end of the channel and forms a thin layer on top. To remedy the poor reflectivity of pure liquids, a free-floating reflective membrane or a dye-coated liquid can be used. The proposed device offers several advantages for adaptive optics applications. These advantages include a high number of actuators, high stroke dynamic range, low power dissipation, fast response time, an initially flat surface, and low cost. However, the device is mainly suitable for dynamic wavefront correction and is limited by its orientation.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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