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Opt Express. 2009 Feb 16;17(4):2487-99.

Tunable liquid microlens arrays in electrode-less configuration and their accurate characterization by interference microscopy.

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  • 1Istituto Nazionale di Ottica Applicata (CNR-INOA) & Istituto di Cibernetica del CNR E. Caianiello,Via Campi Flegrei 34 - 80078 Pozzuoli (NA), Italy.


A special class of tunable liquid microlenses is presented here. The microlenses are generated by an electrowetting effect under an electrode-less configuration and they exhibit two different regimes that are named here as separated lens regime (SLR) and wave-like lens regime (WLR). The lens effect is induced by the pyroelectricity of polar dielectric crystals, as was proved in principle in a previous work by the same authors (S. Grilli et al., Opt. Express 16, 8084, 2008). Compared to that work, the improvements to the experimental set-up and procedure allow to reveal the two lens regimes which exhibit different optical properties. A digital holography technique is used to reconstruct the transmitted wavefront during focusing and a focal length variation in the millimetre range is observed. The tunability of such microlenses 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.

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