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Proceedings Paper

Tuneable liquid microlenses onto a functionalized polar dielectric substrates: formation and characterization
Author(s): P. Ferraro; S. Grilli; M. Paturzo; L. Miccio; V. Vespini; A. Finizio
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Paper Abstract

Liquid lenses are becoming important optical devices for a wide range of applications, from mobile-phone cameras to biological imaging modalities. Their biggest advantage is their potential to have a variable focus that can be changed to obtain a different radius of curvature and thus optical power. The tunability of such micro-lenses could be of great interest to the field of micro-optics thanks to the possibility to achieve focus tuning without moving parts and thus favouring the miniaturization of the optical systems. A special class of tunable liquid micro-lenses is presented here. They are generated by electro-wetting effect under an electrode-less configuration. The lensing effect is induced by the pyroelectric effect on polar dielectric crystals we named pyroelectric-electrodeless-electro-wetting (PEEW). If a thin liquid film is spin coated on a z-cut lithium niobate wafer, the pyroelectric effect causes surface-charges at the liquidsolid interface when the substrate suffers temperature changes. Electric charges build up on the substrate's surface by pyroelectricity and are responsible for the variation of the liquid contact angle, thus forming liquid micro-lenses. The temperature variation can generate a pattern of electric charges onto the surface of the crystal when ferroelectric domain pattern is micro-engineered. Different types of lenses: spherical, cylindrical and toroidal have been formed. Any temperature change allows the liquid layer to become a tunable micro-lens array, showing a strong focusing effect. A digital holography technique is used to characterize the transmitted wavefront during focusing and focal length variation in the millimetre range is observed. Formation process is illustrated while interferometric characterization and imaging properties are analyzed and discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 May 2010
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7716, Micro-Optics 2010, 77160C (12 May 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.858243
Show Author Affiliations
P. Ferraro, Istituto Nazionale di Ottica (Italy)
S. Grilli, Istituto Nazionale di Ottica (Italy)
M. Paturzo, Istituto Nazionale di Ottica (Italy)
L. Miccio, Istituto Nazionale di Ottica (Italy)
V. Vespini, Istituto Nazionale di Ottica (Italy)
A. Finizio, Istituto di Cibernetica Eduardo Caianiello (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7716:
Micro-Optics 2010
Hugo Thienpont; Peter Van Daele; Jürgen Mohr; Hans Zappe, Editor(s)

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