Abstract

Unlike traditional focalization that recruits multiple moving lens elements to adjust focus, liquid lenses deliver adaptive focusing by simply tuning the surface profile of liquid or the elastomer that encloses liquid. Its simple and compact configuration, low cost, and actuation efficiency promise wide industrial, medical, and consumer applications. Dielectric elastomers (DEs), one type of commercially available soft active material, have been a good fit for creating adaptive optics. In this Letter, we present an adaptive, membrane-sealed liquid lens hydrostatically coupled to a concentric annular DE actuator. Electric actuation deforms the annular DE, which induces fluid transmission between the lens part and the actuation part for lens actuation. The maximum measured focal range was from 25.4 to 105.2 mm within 1.0 kV, which significantly outperforms the existing DE-actuated liquid lenses and eliminates the need for prestraining. The lens also enables varied focal ranges by simply adjusting its initial surface sagitta, providing flexibility for practical imaging applications.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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