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Opt Express. 2013 Jul 29;21(15):18079-88. doi: 10.1364/OE.21.018079.

An endoscopic system adopting a liquid crystal lens with an electrically tunable depth-of-field.

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1
Department of Photonics, National Chiao Tung University, 1001 Ta Hsueh Rd., Hsinchu 30010, Taiwan.

Abstract

Conventional endoscopic systems consisting of several solid lenses suffer from a fixed and limited depth-of-field (DOF). For practical applications, conventional endoscopes mechanically change the distance between the solid lenses of a lens module in order to change the focusing plane and DOF to see clearly in a scene. In this paper, we demonstrate an electrically tunable endoscopic system adopting a liquid crystal lens. By means of tunable focusing properties of the LC lens as a positive lens and a negative lens, the object at different objective distances can be imaged to the image sensor clearly and the corresponding depth-of-field can also help to enlarge the total spatial depth perception in a scene. The optical mechanism is discussed. In the experiments, under adjustment of three discrete lens powers of the LC lens, the viewing range or total spatial depth perception of the endoscopic system is from 76.4 mm to 12.4 mm which is 2x improved compared to the conventional one without LC lens. We believe this study can be extended to the applications of industrial and medical endoscopes.

PMID:
23938679
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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