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J Biomed Opt. 2012 May;17(5):055001. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.17.5.055001.

Geometry-invariant gradient refractive index lens: analytical ray tracing.

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  • 1National University of Ireland, Galway, School of Physics, Applied Optics Group, University Road, Galway, Ireland.


A new class of gradient refractive index (GRIN) lens is introduced and analyzed. The interior iso-indicial contours mimic the external shape of the lens, which leads to an invariant geometry of the GRIN structure. The lens model employs a conventional surface representation using a coincoid of revolution with a higher-order aspheric term. This model has a unique feature, namely, it allows analytical paraxial ray tracing. The height and the angle of an arbitrary incident ray can be found inside the lens in a closed-form expression, which is used to calculate the main optical characteristics of the lens, including the optical power and third-order monochromatic aberration coefficients. Moreover, due to strong coupling of the external surface shape to the GRIN structure, the proposed GRIN lens is well suited for studying accommodation mechanism in the eye. To show the power of the model, several examples are given emphasizing the usefulness of the analytical solution. The presented geometry-invariant GRIN lens can be used for modeling and reconstructing the crystalline lens of the human eye and other types of eyes featuring a GRIN lens.

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