Abstract

A variable-focus liquid lens using a transparent flat cell is demonstrated. The top substrate has an aperture which is sealed with a thin elastic membrane on the outer surface and the bottom aperture is sealed on the inner surface of the bottom substrate. By applying a pressure to the outer membrane inward causes the liquid to redistribute and swell the inner membrane outward which, in turn, forms a plano-convex lens. To prove principles, a water lens with 5 mm aperture was fabricated. The resolution is better than 25 lp/mm and the response time is ∼40 ms. Potential applications of such a lens for real-time active imaging are emphasized.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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  1. M. Vallet, B. Berge, and L. Vovelle, "Electrowetting of water and aqueous solutions on poly (ethylene terephthalate) insulating films," Polymer 37, 2465 -2470 (1996).
    [CrossRef]
  2. T. Krupenkin, S. Yang, and P. Mach, "Tubable liquid microlens," Appl. Phys. Lett. 82, 316-318 (2003).
    [CrossRef]
  3. S. Kuiper and B. H. W. Hendriks, "Variable-focus liquid lens for miniature cameras," Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 1128-1130 (2004).
    [CrossRef]
  4. G. C. Knollman, J. L. Bellin, and J. L. Weaver, "Variable-focus liquid-filled hydroacoustic lens," J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 49, 253-261 (1971).
    [CrossRef]
  5. N. Sugiura and S. Morita, "Variable-focus liquid-filled optics lens," Appl. Opt. 32, 4181-4186 (1993).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. D. Y. Zhang, V. Lien, Y. Berdichevsky, J. Choi, and Y. H. Lo, "Fluidic adaptive lens with high focal length tenability," Appl. Phys. Lett. 82, 3171-3172 (2003).
    [CrossRef]
  7. K. H. Jeong, G. L. Liu, N. Chronis, and L. P. Lee, "Tunable microdoublet lens array," Opt. Express 12, 2494-2500 (2004).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. J. Chen, W. Wang, J. Fang, and K. Varahramyan, "Variable-focusing microlens with microfluidic chip," J. Micromech. Microeng. 14, 675-680 (2004).
    [CrossRef]
  9. N. Chronis, G. L. Liu, K. H. Jeong, and L. P. Lee, "Tunable liquid-filled microlens array integrated with microfluidic network," Opt. Express 11, 2370-2378 (2003).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. P. M. Moran, S. Dharmatilleke, A. H. Khaw, and K. W. Tan, "Fluid lenses with variable focal length," Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 041120 (2006).
    [CrossRef]
  11. K. S. Hong, J. Wang, A. Sharonov, D. Chandra, J. Aizenberg, and S. Yang, "Tunable microfluidic optical devices with an integrated microlens array," J. Micromech. Microeng. 16, 1660-1666 (2006).
    [CrossRef]
  12. H. Ren, D. Fox, P. Anderson, B. Wu, and S. T. Wu, "Tunable-focus liquid lens controlled using a servo motor," Opt. Express 14, 8031-8036 (2006).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. M. Ye and S. Sato, "Optical properties of liquid crystal lens of any size," Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 41, L571-L573 (2002).
    [CrossRef]
  14. H. Ren, Y. H. Fan, S. Gauza, and S. T. Wu, "Tunable flat liquid crystal spherical lens," Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 4789-4791 (2004).
    [CrossRef]
  15. E. Hecht, Optics, 4th edition (Addison Wesley, New York, 2002).

2006 (3)

P. M. Moran, S. Dharmatilleke, A. H. Khaw, and K. W. Tan, "Fluid lenses with variable focal length," Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 041120 (2006).
[CrossRef]

K. S. Hong, J. Wang, A. Sharonov, D. Chandra, J. Aizenberg, and S. Yang, "Tunable microfluidic optical devices with an integrated microlens array," J. Micromech. Microeng. 16, 1660-1666 (2006).
[CrossRef]

H. Ren, D. Fox, P. Anderson, B. Wu, and S. T. Wu, "Tunable-focus liquid lens controlled using a servo motor," Opt. Express 14, 8031-8036 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2004 (4)

H. Ren, Y. H. Fan, S. Gauza, and S. T. Wu, "Tunable flat liquid crystal spherical lens," Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 4789-4791 (2004).
[CrossRef]

S. Kuiper and B. H. W. Hendriks, "Variable-focus liquid lens for miniature cameras," Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 1128-1130 (2004).
[CrossRef]

K. H. Jeong, G. L. Liu, N. Chronis, and L. P. Lee, "Tunable microdoublet lens array," Opt. Express 12, 2494-2500 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. Chen, W. Wang, J. Fang, and K. Varahramyan, "Variable-focusing microlens with microfluidic chip," J. Micromech. Microeng. 14, 675-680 (2004).
[CrossRef]

2003 (3)

N. Chronis, G. L. Liu, K. H. Jeong, and L. P. Lee, "Tunable liquid-filled microlens array integrated with microfluidic network," Opt. Express 11, 2370-2378 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. Y. Zhang, V. Lien, Y. Berdichevsky, J. Choi, and Y. H. Lo, "Fluidic adaptive lens with high focal length tenability," Appl. Phys. Lett. 82, 3171-3172 (2003).
[CrossRef]

T. Krupenkin, S. Yang, and P. Mach, "Tubable liquid microlens," Appl. Phys. Lett. 82, 316-318 (2003).
[CrossRef]

2002 (1)

M. Ye and S. Sato, "Optical properties of liquid crystal lens of any size," Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 41, L571-L573 (2002).
[CrossRef]

1996 (1)

M. Vallet, B. Berge, and L. Vovelle, "Electrowetting of water and aqueous solutions on poly (ethylene terephthalate) insulating films," Polymer 37, 2465 -2470 (1996).
[CrossRef]

1993 (1)

1971 (1)

G. C. Knollman, J. L. Bellin, and J. L. Weaver, "Variable-focus liquid-filled hydroacoustic lens," J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 49, 253-261 (1971).
[CrossRef]

Aizenberg, J.

K. S. Hong, J. Wang, A. Sharonov, D. Chandra, J. Aizenberg, and S. Yang, "Tunable microfluidic optical devices with an integrated microlens array," J. Micromech. Microeng. 16, 1660-1666 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Anderson, P.

Bellin, J. L.

G. C. Knollman, J. L. Bellin, and J. L. Weaver, "Variable-focus liquid-filled hydroacoustic lens," J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 49, 253-261 (1971).
[CrossRef]

Berdichevsky, Y.

D. Y. Zhang, V. Lien, Y. Berdichevsky, J. Choi, and Y. H. Lo, "Fluidic adaptive lens with high focal length tenability," Appl. Phys. Lett. 82, 3171-3172 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Berge, B.

M. Vallet, B. Berge, and L. Vovelle, "Electrowetting of water and aqueous solutions on poly (ethylene terephthalate) insulating films," Polymer 37, 2465 -2470 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Chandra, D.

K. S. Hong, J. Wang, A. Sharonov, D. Chandra, J. Aizenberg, and S. Yang, "Tunable microfluidic optical devices with an integrated microlens array," J. Micromech. Microeng. 16, 1660-1666 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Chen, J.

J. Chen, W. Wang, J. Fang, and K. Varahramyan, "Variable-focusing microlens with microfluidic chip," J. Micromech. Microeng. 14, 675-680 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Choi, J.

D. Y. Zhang, V. Lien, Y. Berdichevsky, J. Choi, and Y. H. Lo, "Fluidic adaptive lens with high focal length tenability," Appl. Phys. Lett. 82, 3171-3172 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Chronis, N.

Dharmatilleke, S.

P. M. Moran, S. Dharmatilleke, A. H. Khaw, and K. W. Tan, "Fluid lenses with variable focal length," Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 041120 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Fan, Y. H.

H. Ren, Y. H. Fan, S. Gauza, and S. T. Wu, "Tunable flat liquid crystal spherical lens," Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 4789-4791 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Fang, J.

J. Chen, W. Wang, J. Fang, and K. Varahramyan, "Variable-focusing microlens with microfluidic chip," J. Micromech. Microeng. 14, 675-680 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Fox, D.

Gauza, S.

H. Ren, Y. H. Fan, S. Gauza, and S. T. Wu, "Tunable flat liquid crystal spherical lens," Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 4789-4791 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Hendriks, B. H. W.

S. Kuiper and B. H. W. Hendriks, "Variable-focus liquid lens for miniature cameras," Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 1128-1130 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Hong, K. S.

K. S. Hong, J. Wang, A. Sharonov, D. Chandra, J. Aizenberg, and S. Yang, "Tunable microfluidic optical devices with an integrated microlens array," J. Micromech. Microeng. 16, 1660-1666 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Jeong, K. H.

Khaw, A. H.

P. M. Moran, S. Dharmatilleke, A. H. Khaw, and K. W. Tan, "Fluid lenses with variable focal length," Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 041120 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Knollman, G. C.

G. C. Knollman, J. L. Bellin, and J. L. Weaver, "Variable-focus liquid-filled hydroacoustic lens," J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 49, 253-261 (1971).
[CrossRef]

Krupenkin, T.

T. Krupenkin, S. Yang, and P. Mach, "Tubable liquid microlens," Appl. Phys. Lett. 82, 316-318 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Kuiper, S.

S. Kuiper and B. H. W. Hendriks, "Variable-focus liquid lens for miniature cameras," Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 1128-1130 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Lee, L. P.

Lien, V.

D. Y. Zhang, V. Lien, Y. Berdichevsky, J. Choi, and Y. H. Lo, "Fluidic adaptive lens with high focal length tenability," Appl. Phys. Lett. 82, 3171-3172 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Liu, G. L.

Lo, Y. H.

D. Y. Zhang, V. Lien, Y. Berdichevsky, J. Choi, and Y. H. Lo, "Fluidic adaptive lens with high focal length tenability," Appl. Phys. Lett. 82, 3171-3172 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Mach, P.

T. Krupenkin, S. Yang, and P. Mach, "Tubable liquid microlens," Appl. Phys. Lett. 82, 316-318 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Moran, P. M.

P. M. Moran, S. Dharmatilleke, A. H. Khaw, and K. W. Tan, "Fluid lenses with variable focal length," Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 041120 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Morita, S.

Ren, H.

H. Ren, D. Fox, P. Anderson, B. Wu, and S. T. Wu, "Tunable-focus liquid lens controlled using a servo motor," Opt. Express 14, 8031-8036 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

H. Ren, Y. H. Fan, S. Gauza, and S. T. Wu, "Tunable flat liquid crystal spherical lens," Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 4789-4791 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Sato, S.

M. Ye and S. Sato, "Optical properties of liquid crystal lens of any size," Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 41, L571-L573 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Sharonov, A.

K. S. Hong, J. Wang, A. Sharonov, D. Chandra, J. Aizenberg, and S. Yang, "Tunable microfluidic optical devices with an integrated microlens array," J. Micromech. Microeng. 16, 1660-1666 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Sugiura, N.

Tan, K. W.

P. M. Moran, S. Dharmatilleke, A. H. Khaw, and K. W. Tan, "Fluid lenses with variable focal length," Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 041120 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Vallet, M.

M. Vallet, B. Berge, and L. Vovelle, "Electrowetting of water and aqueous solutions on poly (ethylene terephthalate) insulating films," Polymer 37, 2465 -2470 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Varahramyan, K.

J. Chen, W. Wang, J. Fang, and K. Varahramyan, "Variable-focusing microlens with microfluidic chip," J. Micromech. Microeng. 14, 675-680 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Vovelle, L.

M. Vallet, B. Berge, and L. Vovelle, "Electrowetting of water and aqueous solutions on poly (ethylene terephthalate) insulating films," Polymer 37, 2465 -2470 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Wang, J.

K. S. Hong, J. Wang, A. Sharonov, D. Chandra, J. Aizenberg, and S. Yang, "Tunable microfluidic optical devices with an integrated microlens array," J. Micromech. Microeng. 16, 1660-1666 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Wang, W.

J. Chen, W. Wang, J. Fang, and K. Varahramyan, "Variable-focusing microlens with microfluidic chip," J. Micromech. Microeng. 14, 675-680 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Weaver, J. L.

G. C. Knollman, J. L. Bellin, and J. L. Weaver, "Variable-focus liquid-filled hydroacoustic lens," J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 49, 253-261 (1971).
[CrossRef]

Wu, B.

Wu, S. T.

H. Ren, D. Fox, P. Anderson, B. Wu, and S. T. Wu, "Tunable-focus liquid lens controlled using a servo motor," Opt. Express 14, 8031-8036 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

H. Ren, Y. H. Fan, S. Gauza, and S. T. Wu, "Tunable flat liquid crystal spherical lens," Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 4789-4791 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Yang, S.

K. S. Hong, J. Wang, A. Sharonov, D. Chandra, J. Aizenberg, and S. Yang, "Tunable microfluidic optical devices with an integrated microlens array," J. Micromech. Microeng. 16, 1660-1666 (2006).
[CrossRef]

T. Krupenkin, S. Yang, and P. Mach, "Tubable liquid microlens," Appl. Phys. Lett. 82, 316-318 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Ye, M.

M. Ye and S. Sato, "Optical properties of liquid crystal lens of any size," Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 41, L571-L573 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Zhang, D. Y.

D. Y. Zhang, V. Lien, Y. Berdichevsky, J. Choi, and Y. H. Lo, "Fluidic adaptive lens with high focal length tenability," Appl. Phys. Lett. 82, 3171-3172 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Opt. (1)

Appl. Phys. Lett. (5)

D. Y. Zhang, V. Lien, Y. Berdichevsky, J. Choi, and Y. H. Lo, "Fluidic adaptive lens with high focal length tenability," Appl. Phys. Lett. 82, 3171-3172 (2003).
[CrossRef]

T. Krupenkin, S. Yang, and P. Mach, "Tubable liquid microlens," Appl. Phys. Lett. 82, 316-318 (2003).
[CrossRef]

S. Kuiper and B. H. W. Hendriks, "Variable-focus liquid lens for miniature cameras," Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 1128-1130 (2004).
[CrossRef]

P. M. Moran, S. Dharmatilleke, A. H. Khaw, and K. W. Tan, "Fluid lenses with variable focal length," Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 041120 (2006).
[CrossRef]

H. Ren, Y. H. Fan, S. Gauza, and S. T. Wu, "Tunable flat liquid crystal spherical lens," Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 4789-4791 (2004).
[CrossRef]

J. Acoust. Soc. Am. (1)

G. C. Knollman, J. L. Bellin, and J. L. Weaver, "Variable-focus liquid-filled hydroacoustic lens," J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 49, 253-261 (1971).
[CrossRef]

J. Micromech. Microeng. (2)

K. S. Hong, J. Wang, A. Sharonov, D. Chandra, J. Aizenberg, and S. Yang, "Tunable microfluidic optical devices with an integrated microlens array," J. Micromech. Microeng. 16, 1660-1666 (2006).
[CrossRef]

J. Chen, W. Wang, J. Fang, and K. Varahramyan, "Variable-focusing microlens with microfluidic chip," J. Micromech. Microeng. 14, 675-680 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. (1)

M. Ye and S. Sato, "Optical properties of liquid crystal lens of any size," Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 41, L571-L573 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Express (3)

Polymer (1)

M. Vallet, B. Berge, and L. Vovelle, "Electrowetting of water and aqueous solutions on poly (ethylene terephthalate) insulating films," Polymer 37, 2465 -2470 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Other (1)

E. Hecht, Optics, 4th edition (Addison Wesley, New York, 2002).

Supplementary Material (1)

» Media 1: GIF (1655 KB)     

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Figures (5)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Structure of a liquid lens cell: (a) top slab, (b) bottom slab, and side view of the lens cell in (c) non-focusing and (d) focusing states.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Three-dimensional intensity profiles of the liquid lens at (a) non-focusing and (b) focusing states. The probing beam is a collimated He-Ne laser.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Five-stage image magnification of the liquid lens. (1.6 MB) [Media 1]

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Calculated PDMS radius of curvature and focal length of the liquid lens as a function of volume change. The open triangles are experimental data.

Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

Measured response time of the liquid lens. Volume change is induced by an impulse pressure on the outside elastic membrane of the lens.

Equations (2)

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ρ = 2.44 λ f D ,
f = R v n liquid 1 ,

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